Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Penultimate day down under

And what a packed day! I took one of those hop-on hop-off buses around the city, starting with a leisurely drive out to celebrated Bondi beach, through the posh eastern suburbs of Sydney (including the Swift mansion, now the Cardinal's pad.) and the absolutely stunning view of the harbor from the Rose Bay convent (no longer a nunnery though.)

The weather was awesome (well, it's been awesome the whole darn trip, except for a morning of rain in Cairns last week), the water a deep green-blue, and the sand great. Well, I didn't get on the sand, since I was grossly overdressed for the beach (loafers -- the only shoes I brought along, jeans and a long-sleeve shirt. The only two tees I have need laundering. It's the end of the trip y'all!). The water was thick with surfers and wannabes. Walked half-way on the coastal walk to Bronte beach (amazing colors, the intriguingly eroded sandstone cliffs and the blue of the Pacific. Or is the Tasman Sea?) and then got back on the bus back downtown.

In the afternoon, I ended up at the Queen Victoria building downtown -- designer shopping in a beautiful building, with some intriguing clocks that do a variety of entertaining things on the hour.

The wharf at Woolloomoloo (more shopping and restaurants and cafes.)

That's actually the shopping center at the Strand, off Pitt St. Elegant. Interesting how "elegant" for us tends to mean somewhere in the past, say, between 1850 and 1920.

Interesting clock. Right now it's showing a diorama depicting cricket.

The one below is a bit more sombre, recording a rather shameful chapter from this country's history. (Somehow, I cannot imagine something similar, say, concering slavery, or the removal of the Cherokee, in a US shopping center.)

Took a ride around the city's Monorail, over Darling Harbor, and then ended up wandering around the historic Rock's neighborhood (the site of the first European settlement) as the sun dropped below the horizon.

After dusk, I took a ferry across the harbor to North Sydney and back with these beautiful views of the skyline.

1 comment:

Mac said...

So are the souvenir stores still in the basement of the Queen Victoria Building and were you able to stock up on souvenirs for your American friends? A Sydney-sider friend of mine urged Paddy's Market on you instead of the QVB but I figured that with your shortage of time that might be a luxury you couldn't afford.