Today was a fun-filled, jam-packed tourist exploratory day where we took on the mad task of travelling from one end of the city to the other while seeing all the sites in-between. Our adventure began on a train to Parramatta, a suburb on the Central-Western area of Sydney. It is an amazing mixture of early 19th century buildings, including several churches that look like they have been plucked out of a British countryside, and modern, metropolitan style buildings. They played host to Parramasala, a free public celebration of the diverse and rich cultures in Sydney’s west. The day was filled with a mix of music, dance, theatre, food, film and heritage and it was wonderful to see so many culturally diverse families coming together to enjoy this celebration. While there was a lot entertainment going on, these were geared to the younger generation (great for a young family, but not so much for two 20-somethings!). None-the-less, it was great to see and experience for a short time before heading off on our journey.
The ferry system is quote spectacular throughout Sydney and if you don’t mind a slower commute, it is definitely the more relaxing and scenic way to travel. We picked up the ferry at Parramatta and headed towards the city seeing many of the suburban areas, parks and islands along the way. The view was breath-taking and it was an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the ride.
Next on the agenda was a trip out to the popular Bondi beach. As we got on the train and then bus, it seemed that everyone had come up with the plan to hit the sands. The beach itself was not quite as clean as Manly, but definitely cleaner than most I have been too. The waves on the other hand spectacularly crashed against the rocky cliff, giving the opportunity for some light ocean spray and spectacular photos! We headed away from the rather crowded beach to a smaller area called Tamarama Beach. Unfortunately, the sea proved too choppy to be allowed to swim but we did have a bit of a paddle.
After out beach trip, it was back to the city for some dinner at The Waterfront Grill at Darling Harbour. While the food was tasty and cooked well, the staff were absolutely shocking! Our server was abrupt during our order and then somehow managed to always avoid our attention when we were asking for more water and the bill. Actually paying the bill took over 25 minutes, meaning that we have had to postpone one our planned expedition to Luna Park to another night. Even making a complaint seemed to fall on deaf ears as the server and hostess nervously laughed rather than offering any kind of apology! Not one to go to I think, even though it does over a beautiful view of the harbour from the outdoor dining area.