A Sydney Day at The Rocks, Chinatown, Darling Harbor

Day 38, Grand World Voyage

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023; Sydney, Australia.

What can top a sail out of Sydney, passing under the Harbor Bridge, by the Opera House and wending your way to the cut between the heads, finally entering the Tasman Sea? Throw in spectacular weather and yacht races all along the way. None of the skippers wanted to lose a race just because a huge ship was cutting through the course.

Two pilot boats went ahead to clear the way, urging sailors to tack or fall off. I know from years of sailing that big ships move faster than you think, and they have little ability to maneuver. Perhaps these Sydney sailors are experienced at dodging the cruise ships that visit here almost every day. Some of them cut it awfully close in my humble opinion.

But all was well and our sail away capped another great day in Sydney. Bridge-climbers waved, and even the harbor-cam caught our departure.

Our second day in Sydney made up for yesterday’s clouds and occasional rain. The day dawned with a clear sky and the promise of a temperature high around 80 degrees. With no particular plan in mind, my sisters and I took the shuttle from our berth at White Bay Cruise Terminal to Darling Harbor. We walked a few blocks to the Queen Victoria Building, or QVB, to window shop briefly. I always love seeing who will sit down to play a tune at the baby grand piano.

Queen Victoria Building (QVB) Reflection

They have finished the tram line that passes by the QVB, so we jumped on to head to Circular Quay, the busy ferry port by the Sydney Opera House. We’ve all been to Sydney before, so we decided to skip a ferry ride to Manly Beach or Watson’s Bay, two favorites. We turned away from the opera house and toward The Rocks, an old part of town that now includes shops, bars and restaurants.

Near the top of one of the steep and narrow streets I found the art supply store I have visited over the years. I could have spent an hour or so wandering through the aisles. Eloise was looking for a small beginner kit to use for practice when we aren’t in watercolor class, and I found a couple of things to add to my supply. The guys at Parkers Sydney Fine Art Supplies are helpful without hovering and seem to have just about everything you might need. I guess that’s why they’ve been in business since 1918.

After lunch we spent another hour exploring the back alleyways of the Rocks.

Part of a redevelopment project, I think

We jumped on the tram again and rode it to Chinatown. From there it was a nice walk back to the ship. Elaine and I stopped at a Cockle Bay Wharf for a final drink, to soak in the warmth and the memories of Sydney.

Tonight’s World Theater show featured the popular Hyperion Knight, a concert pianist. I don’t often make the shows, as we may still be at dinner when the 7 p.m. show starts, and I’m likely to fall asleep during the later show. But I was glad I stayed awake for this one. I see why he is a popular entertainer not only on cruise ships, but in concert halls around the world.