Jul 18

Pancake’s On The Rocks

While I was in Sydney I met up with a friend, we spend the day going to see Bondi Beach and the fireworks at Darling Harbor.  While in Darling Harbor she pointed out “Pancakes On The Rocks” a popular Sydney restaurant, as noted by the long line out the door.

Nellie suggested that I try and eat at the one near my hostel, the one that’s actually in The Rocks.  So, on a rainy morning when I was hoping the weather would clear up I figured I would enjoy a leisurely breakfast there.  The rain didn’t clear as fast as I had hoped it would, but at least I had a nice breakfast.

As you might expect they specialize in pancakes and they were quite good.  As I found during most of my trip the menu was a bit odd, not because it was odd but because Aussies even do breakfast different than we do in the US. As much as this picky eater pretends to appreciate different menus, it is stressful, but at least at a pancake place, you can find something in your comfort zone.

The only thing that really surprised me was that it was empty.  Granted, it was during the week when most people were starting their day at work, but it was dead inside.  The lesson there is, go during the week when people are at work, not on a Saturday night in Darling Harbor.


Jun 11

The Rocks Museum

On a chilly and rainy day in Sydney, after spending too much money on my trip, I decided to investigate some cheaper activities in the city.  Being close to my hostel and free, I decided to visit The Rocks Museum.

The first thing I will caution about is that the entrance is not easy to find.  It is down an tight street or a wide ally and although there is a sign nearby, the door is not well marked.  But once inside the museum was worth the money.  Ha ha, it’s free!

It really was a nice museum though.  The museum starts with the settlement of the rocks area and moved on to recent history (the attempt to develop it into a modern area with sky scrapers.)  There were sections about the convicts (many who worked in more of an apprentice type situation), the development of the police in the area (they have stayed in The Rocks).

The museum had a small area where you could watch films about different issues in The Rocks. I enjoyed the one about the protests of the “revitalization” of the area.  My only complaint was that this room was too small and didn’t have much seating.

I would recommend budgeting about an hour, maybe a little longer.  I liked this museum, aside from the fact that it was free, I enjoy history museums, which is what this is.  The Rocks Museum brought this area that I had been staying in alive in a new way that made me appreciate it even more.

Jun 04

Sydney’s The Rocks

I’m going to steal a little bit from the Sydney.com.au site, I like their description of The Rocks:

The Rocks is one of the most-visited parts of Sydney. It is not hard to see why. Nestled at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and on the western shores of Sydney Cove, The Rocks is the foundation place of Sydney and Australia, and of enormous historical significance. It is often described as “Sydney’s outdoors museum”.

When I was in Sydney, this is the neighborhood I stayed in and I loved it. Although it is a touristy area, it has a certain atmosphere, you can feel the history seeping out of the old (or new, but built to look old) buildings.  As one of the first areas of Sydney to be developed, it is rich in history, every street you go down could bring a new surprise.

I may be overdramatizing it.  But, when you walk through a fake doorway, down some stairs and through a weird tunnel in a building and find an oompah band/pair outside the german restaurant, you know you’re somewhere interesting.  The old hotels, restaurants, shops and markets all make this place a great place to walk around when visiting. I always felt safe walking the streets of this area. This is a bit ironic given the areas reputation in its early days.

The area is also prime for visitors because it is very central in the city – Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Downtown, Cruise Terminal, Botanical Gardens, and Darling Harbor are all an easy walking distance away.  Ok, assuming you’re in decent shape, they are all in walking distance.  Either way, it’s not far from a majority of the sites in Sydney, and being near the Circular Quay transportation hub, everything else is nearby too.

I did have one issue with The Rocks… It’s VERY hilly and you’ll often find yourself climbing stairs in weird locations.  I don’t mind some stairs, but after 6 days of climbing the stairs every time I went to my hostel, my legs were TIRED. In spite of my poor legs, I would absolutely stay in this area again!