Around the Dot

Sunday, May 27

Rose Bay by the Sea
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 27.5.07

Another perfect week-end weather - even just on that count, Sydney is an amazing place.

So for a change, we decided to ride the ferry. This time, to Rose Bay, one of the 2 main bays on the southern shore of the harbour between Sydney and the open sea (the other being Watson Bay where we shortly dropped by afterwards).

After a short ride amongst the many sailboats, the ferry entered Rose bay which with houses anchored to the shoreline and its marinas looks like a little h(e)aven.

We decided not to do much - we wanted to take it easy and there is not much to do anyway. Having said that, you can rent a kayak, sail with the sailing club and take a bath....that is, if you don't mind shallow brownish waters. We didn't try it and opted instead for a pad thai picnic on the tiny beach. There is a very decent Thai restaurant and take-away on what I'd called the main street, self-proclaimed so-called "The Best Thai".

Of course I brought back my fair share of picture as I found the "Bretagne in the summer" feel quite inspiring - anyone who has visited the north of Britany around Dinan and St-Malo should be able to see what I mean.

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Sunday, May 6

On the Parramatta River
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 6.5.07

Sydney has to be discovered on the water and we took another direction this time, heading west on the river. We went as far as Parramatta, discovering the various aspects of the harbour, the gorgeous little coves filled with boats and the shores and islands covered by so many adorable houses. After the Olympic Park, the river starts to really get narrower, an impression made even more accute by the mangrove that develops on both sides.

Parramatta is based on an aborigenal phrase meaning "where the eels lie" but I'm not too sure if this stands true anymore because the arrival at Parramatta is a bit depressing: in the town, the river runs only in a cemented 2-meter wide bank flanked by a promenade along the local supermarket. The town itself is uninteresting apart from a few early-20th-century building (similar to other towns in the greater Sydney area). So we just stopped for a bite before heading back to Sydney - enjoying nice views of the river by night.

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Saturday, May 5

The Quay, the Opera & the Bridge
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 5.5.07

Taking the ferry between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay is always a good reason to enjoy the architectural beauties of Sydney - its curves, its angles... and I often end up taking a few pictures! (too many, in fact)

And Raquel took that funny shot. Did you know Sydney had its own Statue of Liberty, right in the middle of the harbour? ;)

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Monday, April 9

Another Ferry Trip to Manly
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 9.4.07

Raquel's parents are in town and this called for another scenic trip to Manly. With the beautiful weather and the sun setting down, I managed to take some gorgeous shots of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the city skyline. Here you go!

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Sunday, April 8

A Walk in Sydney
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 8.4.07

Last Sunday, I left our place in Chinatown for a nice walk along the water from nearby Darling Harbour to the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay.

On the way I made a few stops to take pictures and play some guitar - with the magnificient silouhette of the Harbour Bridge in the background. The weather was so great, and quite representative of the blue skyes we often have had up to now.

Just for you, I put my itinerary on a Google Map with links to the picture so you can take a virtual tour in the city... before you can actually walk the walk yourself! As you'll see, there is a bit of everything - from a seagull to the ocean liner! Peppered by a monorail, high-rise buildings and wharfs.

As a sage would say: Enjoy the promenade!

See photo album...
See map...

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Wednesday, February 21

Big Ships: Queen Elizabeth & Mary 2 Meet In Sydney Harbour
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 21.2.07

Reading on Maroubra BeachIt was all on the news this last couple of days and Peter, our “cicerone” in Sydney (we both shared a flat for 3 months at UCLA), invited us to join him and his girlfriend to the harbour tonight.

So we decided to see what the fuss was all about and we walked through the botanic garden to observe the Queen Mary 2 from far. We arrived just in time to hear it blow its horn 3 times to salute its “sister” (btw, it’s hard to call a boat a “she” and not an “it”). The Queen Elizabeth 2 cruising to Circular Quay responded with 3 blows as it crossed the pier of Garden Island.

We then followed the incredible flow of people going to CQ, crossing on our way the not less incredible flow of people going in the other direction.

I managed to take a few picture of the Queen Elizabeth 2 as it passed the Opera House and we arrived on the quay to see it moor at the pier. Even though it is a smaller ship than the QM2, it still looked impressive with the terminal and the Harbour Bridge as background.

From there we decided to take a higher vantage point and we found a great secret spot (the street above the train station bridge). This was perfect to catch the fireworks.

A final detour by the terminal to catch a glimpse from close and we headed down to Chinatown to end the evening in front of a noodle bowl.

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Monday, February 12

Ferry To Manly
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 12.2.07

The legend, as told by our Lonely Planet guide, is that Manly was named so by its European discoverers because of the attributes (that’s my interpretation) of the locals they found there. Well, I don’t know if this is still true – although a pick from the promenade at nudist Lady Bay opposite the bay might give you an indication.

Today, Manly is a great place with shops and life around Le Corso – as well as the two beaches that this street connects: south west at the ferry pier is a small quiet harbour beach and east is the main reason to come here: a wide beach with impressive waves and nice promenade – very typical, I’d say, of Sydney. We didn’t take a swim this time because the weather was so-so but we’ll be back.
More than the beach, what I liked was taking the ferry to go there. It was really nice to finally be on the water as Sydney is an invitation to the sea. Embarking at Circular Quay, the ferry takes you through the bay, offering amazing views of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the city. The ride is really smooth until you reach the ocean swell but even then it is just enough to provide kids (and grown-ups) with good fun. The way back gave us another perspective with a different lighting. I couldn’t help to take picture after picture.

Manly is definitely a must do for the Sydney visitor. It’ll take you half a day and you don’t need a car. You’ll be on water with great view of the city and highlight. What more to ask?

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