Free breakfast in this hostel. Nothing special – just cornflakes and toast, but it is free. You have to pay a deposit for a mug here, so I paid and was able to make myself a coffee, also free. After breakfast, I planned out my day.
American Pie was just starting when I went downstairs after getting ready, so I watched some of that, then finally got out around 1pm. I’d picked up leaflets about self-guided walking tours you could do around the city, so I started with the “Community” walk. It took me from the Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral, past some old warehouses, the Trades Hall, Chinatown, Paddy’s Market, Aaron’s Hotel, Capitol Theatre, Cyril’s Fine Foods, Mark Foy’s Emporium, Hyde Park, the ANZAC Memorial, Archibald Fountain and St Mary’s Cathedral.
Most of it wasn’t that exciting, but it was good to see some of the city. The ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Memorial was good (what is it with me and war memorials?!). Very informative display. There is a central statue that you can view from above and the side. It is of three women, one carrying a child, all bearing a dead man on their shoulders. It is meant to symbolise the forgotten casualties of war, being the mothers, wives, children and sisters left behind. Apparently it’s quite controversial.
St Mary’s was amazing. A very kind Christian opened the door for me after crossing himself. I hate going into churches as a tourist, since people do occasionally go there for quiet solitude! Luckily, I followed a Japanese tour group in, so no-one noticed the two photos I took, especially as the flash was off.
So then I walked up Macquarie Street to reach the start of my second walking tour. This is where a lot of the old civic and public buildings are located. I saw St James’s Church, the Barracks Museum, Mint Building, Sydney Hospital and the State Library.
I got a coffee by Circular Quay while I looked over the “Colony” tour. This one started at Customs’ House, then went past Macquarie Place with the anchor, cannon and obelisk, past the Education Building, Land Department, Burns Philip Headquarters, Stock Exchange, St Patrick’s Church, St Philip’s Church, up some old steps to Susannah Place, along Cumberland Street, through the subway under the Harbour Bridge, up to Observatory Park, along Kent Street, past Lord Nelson Hotel, along Argyle Place and Lower Fort Street, and back to George Street and Circular Quay.
This walk basically stayed in the area called The Rocks, where the original penal colony started. It’s full of beautiful, small streets and terraced houses. There’s also some old factory and warehouse buildings. From the observatory, you can see Darling Harbour, the wharves and Harbour Bridge, and the old colony houses just below. The Lord Nelson Hotel is a landmark because it’s the oldest pub in Sydney.
There is a lot of old late 1700s and 1800s buildings here, mixed with buildings and skyscrapers up to the present day. The older buildings are totally dwarfed by the huge number of skyscrapers, even though some of the old civic buildings aren’t exactly small!
So I reckon I covered about 12km today, which is about 7-8 miles. No wonder my legs ached so much!