Last Day in Sydney

Last day in Sydney and we really packed it in.  Started out at Roy’s Famous in Potts Point for breakfast.  Really like Potts Point.  Beautiful neighborhood that reminds me of many places around the globe.  We finally got the banana bread, which seems to be on every menu.  Excellent.  Deeply browned served with honey and strawberry jam. 

After breakfast we had a tour of the Opera House.  There are two tours.  Either an hour long tour which run all day (although book in advance) or the backstage tour, which comes with breakfast but only, runs once a day at 730am.  We opted for the hour-long tour, which was just perfect.  The kids all loved it.  The beauty of the architecture and the story of the how the Opera House came to be.  Typical story.  Client hires architect to create something, which theOpera_house
architect really isn’t sure how to build, but believes it can be done and says 3 years is sufficient amount of time to complete.  Along the line the engineers are having trouble achieving what he wants because nobody is really sure it is structurally possible.  The clients get pissed off.  The overruns are huge and the original time constraints are blown away by years.  The architect quits and someone else comes Opera_2
in to finish the job.  In the end, something is built but getting there wasn’t exactly what was planned.  The original plan for the Opera House was 3 years and $7 million dollars.  In the
end it took roughly 12 years and over $100 million.  But it is fantastic.  Here is a picture of the room where the Philharmonic plays.  Your breath is taken away when you walk in. 

Next stop was the beach.  We took a bus, actually 2 because we had to transfer to get to Bronte Beach.  All of the beaches are next to each other but set in side small coves so each has a completely differentBronte_beach_4
vibe.  We walked from Bronte to Bondi.
  In between the two of them are incredible surfing areas where you must Surfing
be good or your end up torn apart on the rocks.  Small picture but you can see the rocks on the left. 

As we turned the corner to Bondi, we saw the sailing races.  Every December 26th, there is a yacht race from Sydney to Hobart.  It was pretty cool to see.

We lunched in Bronte at two restaurants that have joined forces.  One is Bonsai and the other is Swell.  Bonsai is Japanese/sushi and Swell is a combo of salads,Race
sandwiches and eclectic food.   It was the perfect lunch.  We had two menus to choose from which kept everyone happy.  Jess and I both had a fantastic salad of greens, shredded carrots, raw tuna, avocado, shredded radishes and a ginger Japanese dressing. 

We spend a little time walking through the sand and hanging and then grabbed a bus back into town.  We still had visions of doing a chocolate walk.  There are about 5 chocolate shops in town but unfortunately they were all closed except for Josh
one where we bought some licorice.  The licorice here is delicious.  Josh is exhausted (see picture on left).  As we walked along the streets in the central business district, we witnessed something that I have never quite seen before.  At all the high end shops, Bally and Louis Vuitton had lines around the block, literally.  There were guards letting people in based on how many people were in the store.  What was more interesting is every person in each line was Asian.  It was quite a sight.

We got back to the hotel and got ready for dinner.  Our dinner reservations got completely screwed up.  As I said in earlier posts, many places are closed during the holidays.  We have voted to return to Sydney during the year when there are no holidays.  We did actually have one reservation at Flying Fish, which is at the end of Jones Wharf.

The restaurant is very cool.  An old warehouse at the end of the pier that has been converted into aFlying_fish_1
restaurant.  We sat upstairs and could see the oil tankers and boats leave harbor.  The food was innovative but not that delicious.  Three of us began with the seafood tapas, which gives you four bites of a chef’s choice to see what creativeFlying_fish_2
things he can do.  For dinner, I went with the Sri Lankan shrimp in a curry sauce.  Everything tasted good but the flavors lacked depth and interest.  We had a good time but were all bummed that we couldn’t go to other places we had wanted to go.

As a whole, loved Sydney.  A wonderful place to live.  We hit every neighborhood, almost.  My feet are aching.  The Establishment hotel, which is located a few blocks from the Rocks, had nice rooms and a cool vibe but the concierge is lacking to say the least.  The service is not what it should be.  If I came back, I wouldn’t’t stay there.  Probably stay at Blue, which is in Woolloomooloo.  Good locations, near Potts Point where I could have breakfast daily and on the water. 

On to Melbourne.   

Comments (Archived):

  1. rachel

    totally agree with you on flying fish. we loved the interior/views but were unimpressed with the food. We stayed at The Observatory – we didn’t like The Rocks and would have preferred a cooler/less traditional hotel but the concierge and the service were so unbelievable we got over the location/traditional stuff.

  2. Fraser

    Just researching for my summer trip to Australia and came across this post – thanks for the tips!

    As for the lines at high-end stores: I recall an Economist article a few years back that talked about the excess-demand for authentic, high-end purses in China. Entrepreneurs in China offered low cost vacations to Australia and other countries where part of the trip was subsidized by waiting in line at luxury stores to purchase high-end purses for the operator of the cruise. The purses were then resold at a premium in China.