aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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sydney by foot, part 2
circular quay to darling harbour

Harbour Bridge in Sydney with boat

Today, let us continue our walk through Sydney from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour via the Harbour Bridge.  From Circular Quay, we hop on a ferry to Milson’s Point across the bridge and then walk back across the Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Opera House through grates in Harbour Bridge

Harbour Bridge

A pleasant thirty-minute walk helps us fully appreciate the magnitude of the bridge and its pylons.  Along the way, we see a number of people getting ready to walk over the bridge through a company called BridgeClimb.  We didn’t do it because it seemed unnecessarily expensive at $160 AUD per person, windy, and cold (not to mention the fact that I am not a huge fan of man-made heights.)

Roof cleaner in Sydney

The Harbour Bridge winds up near George Street in the Rocks and we then walk through the Central Business District to Darling Harbor.  This is the point where we stop and gape at the streets because they are so freakin’ clean.  (The worker in the picture above is cleaning the roof of the bus stop.  I mean, seriously, who does that?)  If you like the grit and grime of New York and Chicago, don’t come here because the unlittered streets, shiny fountains, and graffiti-free buildings will be a bit disconcerting.  This is the only city we have ever visited where we can breathe deeply in the train stations and tunnels because they do not contain the unmistakable odor of urine.  For the first several days, we would stop and point out any trash on the ground because litter on a Sydney street is nearly as remarkable as the Opera House.

Seagulls in Darling Harbour fountain

Kids playing in Darling Harbour fountain

Darling Harbor is urban redevelopment done right.  In the mid-1980s, the city tore down old foundries and ramshackle buildings and converted it into a space filled with fountains, restaurants, shops, and bars.  People sit and talk around our favorite fountain, ringed with stairs of ridged rock, in the center of the harbor.

Chinese garden in Sydney

 A short stroll past Tumbalong Park leads us to the Chinese Gardens.  Layers and reflections follow us through the gardens.  We watch sacred ibis wash themselves in the koi-filled ponds and lizards laze about in the sun.

Passionfruit and strawberry macaron

Then, we take a much needed rest break at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Darling Harbour.  The café is full of chocolate, sweets, cakes, and all sorts of things to make any child happy but I will tell you only about the macarons because they are delicious, colorful, and make us smile.

Macaron case in Lindt cafe Passionfruit and strawberry macarons
Eaten hazelnut and champagne macarons Hazelnut and champagne macarons at the Lindt cafe
A surprising combination of sweet and sour burst in our mouth when we bite into the saffron-colored passion fruit and chocolate cream macaron.  The strawberry and cream macaron tastes like the shortcakes made in the summertime with fresh Florida berries.  The hazelnut macaron has a dollop of Nutella sandwiched between its layers but is otherwise uninspired.  We like the champagne macaron least because it has the off-flavor of artificial liqueur flavoring.  And, then, we are off to find dinner.

Australian flag

If you can’t tell by now, we love this city.  Patrick says that he could live here and it is a close second to Rome for me.  We can’t get over how clean it is.  Does Windex sponsor this city and, if so, will Windex please sponsor every city we go to?

Details:

The 7-day train pass allowed us to easily maneuver around the city via ferry, train, and bus.  For $46.00 AUD, it was one of the best purchases we made.

Sydney central station

On our third day in Sydney, we woke up to this:

Sydney dust storm

We weren’t sure what was going on so we turned on the television, expecting as we do in the United States, to see something about this strange phenomenon that made the city look like Mars.  The news stations had nothing about it so we assumed that it was just a normal Sydney weather pattern.  Apparently, Sydney hasn’t had a dust storm like this in 70 years and we were lucky enough to see it.  Needless to say, it was an odd day with the city covered in red dust and people walking about with face masks and scarves covering their mouths.  It felt like the apocalypse but there wasn’t anyone on the street proclaiming it as such. 

Vacation From Vacation:  I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but we are taking a vacation from our vacation spending three days on a sailing cruise in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia.  We will have loads of gorgeous posts for you when we get back because this place is simply stunning.  In the meantime, if you're bored and need a Road Forks fix, check out our guest post at The Planet D on Tuesday (a site well worth checking out) on our amazing trip to Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, a preserve for the endangered Bengal tiger. 

10/03/2009 17:02
Chetan Sankar
This is awsome. I really enjoyed reading about your experiences.
Love,
Dad
10/03/2009 17:33
Lakshmi Sankar
Great pictures. Loved the virtual tour and felt like I was there with you both. I am having a hard time deciding on my favorite dessert--sticky rice with fresh mangoes or the macaroons! I have a feeling passion fruit macaroons are going to stay on the top until your next post. Love, Mom
10/05/2009 12:35
Sarah Peter
You two sound like you are having the time of your life and what better deserving people.
Yesterday, out of the blue, Devin said he missed his Aunt and Uncle. However, I have been talking about you two a lot in the past week. This month at Devin's school is "Heritage Month.” I am going to be reading to the class, hopefully once a week, one of the fabulous books that you have brought home to Devin from your previous explorations. He has books from Italy, Ireland, and India. These books mean a lot to me and will, when he is a little older, mean a lot to Devin too. Even though we cannot experience the same wonders as you will be experiencing at least we can get a small piece of joy through your website.
I love and miss you both.
10/05/2009 14:18
Great post -- I've never been to Sydney so it's fun to read about your adventures and see the lovely photos, it almost makes me feel like I'm there! I can't wait to read more. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
10/05/2009 14:19
Great post -- I've never been to Sydney so it's fun to read about your adventures and see the lovely photos, it almost makes me feel like I'm there! I can't wait to read more. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
10/06/2009 04:43
The dust storm was a first for me too! It was rather scary! glad that you're enjoying our lovely city and you've arrived just in time for SIFF (Sydney International Food Festival)
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella's recent blog post: Comment on Spaghetti & Meatball Cupcakes by Iron Chef Shellie
10/07/2009 02:37
I love the chinese garden in darling harbour. They were awesome! I spent hours there!
10/07/2009 08:34
I can't wait to visit Sydney. Love the photos. Those macarons look so delish.
Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets)'s recent blog post: Beirut & Riz Bi Haleeb- Rice Pudding With Mastic & Orange Flower Blossom
10/09/2009 06:00
Thanks so much all! We absolutely loved Sydney. The gardens are amazing there. I need some time to spend sitting in front of my computer responding to all your wonderful comments but we are very much on the move right now.
Akila's recent blog post: wordless whitsundays
10/12/2009 11:14
That would have been awesome being there for the dust storm. The photo's are great and give you a real sense of what it is like to be there. Keep it up!!
10/18/2009 09:59
Vinay Gangoli
Wow...if that's apocalypse then it sure is beautiful!
11/10/2009 15:21
I love reading about visitors' perspectives to my city. Wasn't the dust storm an experience to remember? I spent days cleaning up afterwards!
Gourmantic's recent blog post: Tweeting the Trip
02/27/2010 04:09
Looks like Sydney is in the midst of pollution spree or just a thick fog?
01/08/2011 20:25
how exciting that you were here on this dust day! i woke up that morning and couldn't believe it. it was so strange and surreal with all that red dust in the skies.
Anna (Morsels and Musings)'s recent blog post: goat cutlets w rhubarb agrodolce sauce
01/11/2011 20:16
Anna, it was awesome! We loved seeing it.
Akila's recent blog post: candid canine: war eagle!
03/16/2012 08:25
One of the best parts of my cruise holidays is the food! You travel to try new things so new countries, new people, new activities and new FOOD! We are off to Australian this year so will be trying some of the food mentioned :)
03/27/2012 07:28
Great! Have a blast. :)
Akila's recent blog post: the undefeated dolac market
06/26/2012 02:42
Andy
Hey Guys,

This is great... I wish I could quit my Job to travel.
I'm planning a small 2 day solo trip by foot in a month time. as being more experienced in travel I would really appreciate if you could bring your thoughts on it:

http://theoutwalker.blogspot.com.au/
07/05/2012 08:36
Andy, thanks for letting me know about your site! It looks like a great trip.
Akila's recent blog post: grilled meats of turkey

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