Thursday, January 13, 2011

Around Sydney’s CBD – Part 2

Although still within walking distance, it was easier and faster to take the 555 bus to Circular Quay and The Rocks. Circular Quay is at the foot of the central business district and the older, historic end of the city.

Circular Quay is a bustling water transport hub; it is where you can catch ferries to different parts of the harbour (like Manly Beach, Watsons Bay, Mosman, Taronga Park Zoo, Darling Harbour).

The Harbour Bridge can be viewed from different points around Circular Quay; I never got tired of seeing the Bridge, each time was a fresh view. There are outdoor cafes and boutiques in the area and oftentimes street entertainment (buskers, street theatre). On the southern side of the Circular Quay is a walkway that takes you to the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens. On the northern side is a walkway that takes you to The Rocks, Sydney’s old historical district where old brick warehouses now house restaurants and pubs, boutique shops as well as art galleries and museums. The Rocks offers a closer view of the Harbour Bridge.

From the Opera House you can follow the walkway leading to the Royal Botanic Gardens. This is a lovely place with beautiful trees that offer shade, expansive green lawns that invite you to lay down a blanket, and strategically located benches. It’s a place to slow down and relax while you view the water or the gardens. While in the Botanic Gardens, I walked to the place referred to as Mrs Macquarie’s Point, a peninsula that offers a combined view of the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s skyline, providing the perfect backdrop for picture taking. According to folklore, Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie (the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821) used to visit the area and sit on the rock, watching for ships from Great Britain sailing into the harbour. An exposed sandstone rock formation on the point, where Mrs Macquarie used to sit, is known as Mrs Macquaries Chair (also called Lady Macquarie’s Chair); it is said to have been hand-carved in the shape of a bench rock by convicts in 1810.

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