Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2019 HAL World Cruise

Tuesday-Wednesday, March 5-6, 2019

 

Sydney is a wonderful city to visit.  It is a large city; yet, compact and easy to navigate.  We have been coming to Sydney pretty regularly since 2010 and always find that we run out of time long before we run out of things we want to see or do!  On this stop, we decided to go up to Blue Mountains on day 1.  We had not seen the area and figured this was the year!  (If you’d like, go check out the blog of February 2018 for more on the city of Sydney.)

The Blue Mountains are special.  They are covered with vast forests of eucalyptus trees.  These trees emit tiny droplets of oil that mix with water vapor and sunlight to produce a blue haze.  Thus, the Blue Mountains!!!!  This optical phenomenon is called “Rayleigh scattering”.

Blue Mountains is a two-hour train ride (aprx. $16.00/pp/rt) from Sydney’s Central Station to Katoomba.  There, a local HOHO will take you up and down the hills to view the scenery and partake of the attractions such as:  a glass floored cable car, the world’s steepest incline passenger railway, the Jenolan Caves, or an Aboriginal Walkabout tour!

We departed Central Station with no set plan; figured we’d arrive in Katoomba around lunchtime, and afterwards we’d explore the town and take the HOHO tour.  Good plan, poor execution on our part.  We stopped at the Carrington Hotel for lunch.  This is a beautiful hotel from the 1880s.  We sat on the veranda with our afternoon libations and enjoyed a tasty lunch; we toured the hotel complex; chatted with folks; and promptly ran out of time!!!!  With only a couple of hours left until our planned return to Sydney, we quickly toured the town (a very hilly town!) before soothing our tired feet on the two-hour return journey.  We vowed to come back!  There is so much more to see.  Here are the photos for Day 1:

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We docked in White Bay, quite far from the city center. So, a shuttle was provided to Darling Harbor.
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After exiting the ship, passing through immigration and wending our way through the permanent tents that were serving as a secondary terminal we waited to board the shuttle. (You really should do better Sydney, White Bay is a horrible cruise terminal!)
Finally, aboard the shuttle, we depart the dock on our way to the city.
Finally, aboard the shuttle, we depart the dock on our way to the city.
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Arriving at Darling Harbor, we stopped for a morning cappuccino at the Adria Cafe.
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We passed this display of bird cages outside an organic grocery, housed in a beautiful old public school building, while we walked to the train station.
We walked thru Chinatown and passed Paddy's Market, also.
We walked thru Chinatown and passed Paddy’s Market, also.
And we boarded the 10:20 to Katoomba!
And we boarded the 10:20 to Katoomba!
The Blue Mountains scenery is enchanting.
The Blue Mountains scenery is enchanting.
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As is the town of Katoomba! The Harp And Fiddle caught our attention–next time we’ll give it a try!
But today, we chose to have lunch at the Carrington Hotel.
But today, we chose to have lunch at the Carrington Hotel.
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The afternoon libation at the Carrington Hotel is a Bohemian Pils from the Katoomba Brewing Company for Roger…..
.....and a Pinot Grigio for Sandy.
…..and a Pinot Grigio for Sandy.
Lunch!  An antipasto plate.
Lunch! An antipasto plate.
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After touring the town, we climbed and descended, climbed and descended as we made our way back to the train station.
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Returning to Darling Harbor in time to view this lovely sunset before boarding the shuttle back to the ship.

 

On Day 2, our only plan was to shop at the David Jones Department Store Foodhall and then have a nice lunch at the Metro St. James Café in Hyde Park.  David Jones is my favorite store in Sydney.  There are, of course, many wonderful places to shop in the city:  Westfield, the Queen Victoria Building, The Strand, Pitt Street Pedestrian Mall, the Rocks area and oodles of charming boutiques!  But David Jones has everything I’m looking for today!  This Australian chain was begun in 1838 by David Jones, a Welsh merchant and future Australian politician, and it is the oldest continuously operating department store in the world still operating under its original name.  However, it was purchased by the South African retail group Woolworths Holdings Limited in 2014!  We are obviously living in a Global Economy!!!!!

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The David Jones Department Store on Market St. & Elizabeth St. is undergoing major remodel in 2019.
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But the David & Jones Department Store at Market and Castlereagh St. is in full operation and the foodhall is fabulous!
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All things tasty are available here. You can eat in or take out or take home to prepare yourself!
Food hall at David & Jones
Food hall at David & Jones
The chocolates section is especially temptig!
The chocolates section is especially tempting!
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After working up an appetite shopping, we went over to the Metro St James Cafe on Hyde Park. That’s the Sky Tower looming above
The pizza is pretty good!
The pizza is pretty good!
As is the afternoon libation!
As is the afternoon libation!
As we walk back Market Street, we pass the Westfield Mall.....
As we walk back Market Street, we pass the Westfield Mall…..
..... the Pitt Street Pedestrian Mall......
….. the Pitt Street Pedestrian Mall……
.....The Queen Victoria Building Mall.....
…..The Queen Victoria Building Mall…..
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It started to rain as we were walking back, so we hailed a taxi. We crossed over the ANZAC Bridge on our way to White Bay.
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A statue of the Australian military man at the entrance to the ANZAC Bridge. The NZ military man is across the street.
The New Zealand Military Man.
The New Zealand Military Man.
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Our sail-away occurred during dinner. We passed the Opera House on the way out of Sydney Harbor.
Our final view of Sydney way of the Harbor Bidge at Sunset.
Our final view of Sydney was of the Harbor Bridge at Sunset.

Now, we are on our way to Townsville, Australia.

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