On Saturday morning, DH and I caught the train a couple of stops around the city loop to Circular Quay. For those who aren’t familiar with Sydney, (like the visitors to Australia who got off the train at the same time as us), this is the impressive view from the platform where we got off the train:
Even for someone like me, a frequent visitor to Sydney, seeing those two iconic images of the Bridge and the Opera House together is always wonderful.
Circular Quay is at the site where Europeans first settled in Australia, back in January 1788. It’s changed radically over the ensuing two centuries, of course – and it’s a long time since the Quay was circular! Cross-harbour ferries, tourist boats, and the river cat boat that goes down the river to Parramatta all depart from here, so it’s a lively and busy place, bustling with commuters, tourists, and buskers.
We strolled around the east side of the Quay, towards the Opera House, and stopped for a very pleasant morning tea at the Guylian chocolate cafe. There are many jacaranda trees in the area; their purple-blue flowers stunning against the blue of the sky:
After morning tea (waffle with chocolate sauce – yum!), we strolled back around to the other side of the Quay. The Rocks area was the site of the first buildings, and there are still many historic buildings there, with a preservation effort from the 1970s onwards balancing preservation reasonably well with development. Cadman’s Cottage is one of the oldest buildings in the country, having being built (I think) about 1817:
(Yes, I know that’s positively ‘young’ architecture by European standards, but we don’t have many old built things here. Landscapes, yes – incredibly ancient and stunning ones. Buildings, no.)
Wandering around The Rocks, you get frequent scenes of old contrasting with newer:
(By the way, for those of you who love seeing photos, that photographer in the middle of the image is my DH, Gordon, and he has a photoblog. He posts a new image every day. Enjoy!)
We ate lunch in a lovely courtyard patisserie, then wandered back to the train and then to our apartment for me to have an afternoon rest. (I’m doing very well, but making sure I don’t overdo things.)
After our pleasant wander around the Quay area, we were saddened to hear last night on the news about the passing of the designer of the Opera House, Danish architect Joern Utzon. It is truly a stunning building, an original and breathtaking work of art.