Friday 20 April 2012

Sydney - Australia

Forget what I said about anywhere else, this place is damn hot!
I was here in January so obviously I was expecting it to be warm, but nothing can prepare you for 40-42C until you experience it.
My trip meant I was only in Sydney for a long weekend. I landed late on Friday night, I had a ticket for the SCG for a One Dayer between Australia and Pakistan on the Sunday and was flying to Melbourne on the Monday, so I only really had one day to run just like in San Fran.
For those Americans reading, Cricket is like Baseball, but much much better

I was staying in a hostel in Kings Cross, on the south side of the city near Potts Point. It was dark when I landed so I had not seen any of the sights, so I was up at 8am on Saturday in an effort to try to cram in everything I could in one day.

From Kings Cross Station, I  headed east towards the harbour. It was still early but already the temperature was touching 30C, so shamelessly the vest came off pretty quickly :-)

The route travelled along Bayswater Road and then north on Brougham Street. With so many different travellers in Sydney there seemed to be a really relaxed friendly atmosphere wherever you went.

The entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens
The route continue to travel north east, from Brougham St to Sydney Pl, then north on Downing Street (no not that one, the other one) until the water was now in sight.

The one thing Australia does better than most, with the expection of BBQs, is naming its places.
The end of Downing Street brought me out in a part of Sydney called Woolloomooloo! From the water's edge I then just followed a public footpath right the way to the entrance of stunning Royal Botanic Gardens, pictured above, which is the oldest Botanic Garden in Australia.
I had run 1.7km to this point, and the number of tourists had noticably grown so I knew I was close to the Opera House. I travelled north along the path running parallel to the eastern boundary of the park. It was then I stumbled across this breathtaking view of the harbour, which actually made me stop running to take it in.

I went on a tour of the Opera House and apparently the Danish Architect who designed it never saw the completed building.

I immediately found an extra bounce in my stride as I headed towards it, and a further 2.2km through the hugely undulating gardens and greenery past Government House saw me reach the concrete walkaway on the Harbour's edge just a few metres from the Opera House.

Like most major tourist attractions, there seemed to be a sea of people posing for photographs outside despite it not yet being 9am. With Harbour Bridge on one side and the Opera House on the other, it really is a great spot as the two are so different yet seem to compliment each other perfectly.
My first look at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens
From the Opera House, I continued along the main tourist pathway around the harbour where numerous boat tours depart from. Now on the west side of the harbour close to the bridge and with the Opera House now on the opposite side of the water, I continued east towards Darling Harbour.

Firstly on Argyle Street and then south on High Street. until I picked up the public walkway away from the roads where the traffic was beginning to pick up. The pathway takes you past Sydney Aquarium and the huge Imax Theatre, home to the world's largest Imax Screen (approx eight stories high).

Bondi Beach, not the place to sit and read a book!

Having run the 3.3km from Harbour Bridge to here and the 3.9km to that point in what was now over 30C heat, I decided to head back towards the Hostel
I elected to take the same route back, for both ease of not getting lost and because part of me wanted to take a second look at both the Bridge and the Opera House, this time from the opposite direction.

I thought this was a cool photo as it shows the Opera House's unique design and its sheer size compared to the people in the foreground
By the time I reached the hostel, located just by the Station conveniently, the run totalled just under 15km in just over an hour and ten minutes, in which I had managed to get my bearings of the city and see two of the finest pieces of architecture and engineering you will ever see.
Now time for a cold shower, breakfast and off to Bondi Beach!

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Start - Kings Cross Metro Station, Bayswater Road
Journey - North along Downing Street to Woolloomooloo. Follow footpath north east to Botanic Gardens and continue along the footpath on the east side of the park to capture stunning views of the harbour.
From there, continue north east to public tourist walkway east to Opera House and then Harbour Bridge. From there, follow Argyle Street east and then High Street south to Darling Harbour past Aquarium to the Imax. Exact same route home.
Finish: Kings Cross Metro Station, Bayswater Road

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