2023 HAL World Cruise
Thursday & Friday, February 9 & 10, 2023
We are not sure why we awoke in the early morning hours of our entry into White Bay, the dockage for our 2-day lay-over in Sydney. But waking when we did was fortuitous. We were passing under the Sydney Harbor Bridge (aka the “Coat Hanger”) and we were jaw-droppingly amazed at the beauty and grandeur of this simple event. The view was grand as our curtains were open on both the large balcony doorway and the window over the desk. At this point, we were wide-awake and ready to face the day!!! We dressed and went to the Crow’s nest for coffee as we decided this day would be for shopping and eating.
And so it began….
We didn’t pull out the camera when passing under the Coat Hanger in the early morning hours. This photo was taken on our departure. Truth-be -told, we wish we had gotten out of bed and grabbed our cameras!!! The bridge, lit up at night, was amazing!!!
By the time we were ready to go out for the day, the skies grew cloudy and rain threatened.
As an aside: that liner you see is the former MS Prinsendam!! She was bought by Reisen Travel of Germany and named Amera. We have very fond memories of voyages aboard that ship and were heartbroken when Holland America sold her!!! It was a surprise to see her docked beside us!!!
Undaunted by threatening skies, we set out for adventure!!! Boarding the ship-provided shuttle we transferred to Darling Harbor, closer to the central Business District. You can’t see any of that in this picture because White Bay is far away from everything!!!
Ah but, once finally in the city, the architecture and charm of Sydney captivates!!!
We walked down King Street: destination the David Jones Department Store in the Westfield Complex. This is not it–it is further down the street–but you can see, there is a lot of fine shopping in Sydney!!!
My destination at David Jones was the market section in the basement where produce, sweets, and fine gift chocolates are available. This is a great place for fun souvenirs to take home for friends and family!!!
The Kumquats were tempting–but, perhaps, a little too expensive!!!
After our foray at David Jones, we went to PJ O’Brien’s for an Irish lunch with brew. As we left the restaurant, the rain started. And it fell, and fell harder, and became a deluge!!!
We survived with packages intact!!! Tomorrow is day 2 We will have better weather.
And sure enough, day 2 in Sydney was bright, warm and dry!!!
Our destination today was the Pitt St Pedestrian Mall for more shopping and wining and dining!!!
We started at the Sydney Arcade.
And worked our way to The Strand.
The signage above the entry says it all!!! “The proprietor of the Strand Arcade Invites You to Promenade Within the Elegant Tradition of Fashionable Shopping Available on the 4 floors of the Strand Arcade”
The Strand, built in 1891, is an impressive building with loads of charm!!!
It would be easy to spend an entire day exploring this shopping mecca.
But now it was time for lunch!!! We headed to Fratelli Fresh, a restaurant recommended by a David Jones employee.
What a great recommendation!!! Delicious Italian food, fine wines, and a cozy, casual atmosphere.
We started with the mixed olives….
…..went on to the Caprese….
…..and finished with a Margherita Pizza. YUM!!!
The wine selection was extensive.
We chose the restaurant branded Sauvignon Blanc from Ross Hill Wines locally grown in Orange, New South Wales.
This is very good.
We can recommend Fratelli Fresh without hesitancy. This was a pleasant lunch in a happy atmosphere.
But it was time to move on. We met Michele and Maggie as we departed Fratelli Fresh and they chatted with us as we made our way to our final shopping stop: the Woolworth Market!!!
We came here for cherries…..
…..and added them to a tray of cheeses and crackers for a little “Sail-Away” Party as we departed Sydney.
We had a nice view of Sydney as we departed White Bay…..
…..and headed to The Sydney Harbor Bridge.
It’s a nice departure…..
…..providing us an opportunity to watch the beauty of Sydney float by.
And once again, we pass under the bridge and enter Sydney Harbor…..
…..passing Circular Quay…..
…..the Sydney Opera House…..
…..and heading back out to sea…..
…..where it rained…..
…..it rained a lot!!! But the sun persevered and popped out for…..
…..a gorgeous sunset!!!
As Sydney turned into a memory, we watched the sun set into the sea and waited for that “green flash” reported to come at the last moment……….nah, it never did!!!
And now, we are on our way to Tasmania.
Where we will visit Port Arthur and Hobart.
The adventure continues!!!