Monday, 8 June 2015

Sydney, part II: History on the Rocks

Sydney, Australia
As well as the Botans and Potts Point on our first day in Sydney, we also saw the waterfront, which gave the impression of a larger Auckland which I wasn't too keen on, and an area called The Rocks. 
From the Opera House along the water, we walked to Observatory Park, which gave amazing views of the area. If you're not good at reading maps (I'm guilty), then it is easy to get lost in The Rocks, but we stopped frequently to orient ourselves with nearby streets and we did just fine. 
From there, we went through a tunnel under the Bridge and found an interesting display of muddy footprints on the tiled walls. I'm in two minds about this: was it one person who pressed their soiled shoe up to the wall, and others followed suit? Or is it the work of an artist, as the majority of footprints are well spaced so they don't overlap? Art or strangers' collaboration - either way I like it. 
While searching for a lunch spot, we happened upon The Rocks Friday Foodie Market, which was perfect for lunch options as we're on a tight budget. After wandering up and down trying to decide what we wanted, we chose the stall with the longest line. It stretched far down the alley to the side, and that many people couldn't be wrong about the food! The stall (Dare Cafe which was located on a nearby street) served gozleme with spinach and cheese with optional additions such as mince, chicken and mushrooms. 
The gozleme, which I had never heard of before that day, was served with a lemon wedge and no fork. For ten dollars, there was a lot of food! And it was just as delicious as the long line commanded. 
Satiated, we took a stroll down the Nurses' Walk, so named for the hospital that used to be a main fixture in The Rocks. Many little streets were there to be explored, sometimes with rock on all sides. 
To learn more on the history of the area, we visited The Rocks Discovery Museum which was fascinating. (And also free of charge. Bonus!) The short documentaries were a highlight for me, as were the items found at the bottom of a resident's well. He as well as others loved to throw unwanted things down it, much to the delight of archaeologists. 
Having only snatched three hours' sleep the night before due to our early flight to Sydney, I started to fall asleep while sitting on the comfy seat in the museum listening to the docos. To wake ourselves up, we ate some of the Brazilian chocolates purchased from the market earlier. All the flavours we tried were excellent, but the dulce de letche receives top marks from me. 
The chocolate fuelled our stop at Foundation Park, which shows several different layers of buildings that had been excavated. The partially crumbled brick walls reminded me of Roman ruins, and seeing how much history Sydney has made me rethink my initial judgement that it was just like a bigger version of Auckland. I did not give you enough credit, Sydney, and I'm sorry. You're really cool even if I have to walk up and down stairs all day and become confused by your streets.