11 October 2014

Market day on the fly...

Good morning from sunny Sydney!
After a somewhat restless night disturbed with a bit of jetlag, fog horns from departing cruise ships and general city noise coming up from 26 floors below us, it was time to break out into the clear blue skies of Sydney. We've opted not to take breakfast with this hotel room, in favour of eating on the run en route to whatever it is we end up doing  each day.
If Friday was a day of weddings, then Saturday was to be a day of waling, markets, beer and fireworks. Oh, and amusing fly posting. We have found ourselves a nice quayside resteraunt that does a good brekkie and orange in the mornings overlooking the cruise ship port and harbour bridge, so that was our first port of call. (Pun not intended, but then was intended). In the several bits of literature we have picked up since the start of our time in Sydney, some of them have referred to the markets held on a weekly/monthly basis around the different suburbs of the city. So, i loves a good market i does, and we decided to pay Paddo market a visit. We caught the bus out of the city, out past Hyde Park and staight to Paddington. Familar names, but infinatly more pleasent places to be! paddo market has about 200 stalls selling all sorts of clothes, art, food, dickie bows for dogs, jewelry and such like. In the food area, a stall was doing a roaring trade in smoothies and there was seating to sit at and listen to some locals performing for the bustling market. The market is held in the school grounds and is perhaps something that could be adopted my many schools in the UK. I expect the schools make a bit of money from selling the pitches to the stall holders, and they even had several children running the schools own stall selling cakes and munchies for the passing people. We didn't buy anything from them. We only bought a smoothie each. But it was still nice.
The chuckle of the day was provided to us by two people. Whilst waiting for the bus to head back to the city, a ranger walked by. It was obviously his job to walk up and down the streets of Paddington and remove fly posters and generaly keep the place looing tidy. Next to the bus stop, there was a lampost with a poster on it for some event or orther. We watched him dilligently take a photo as evidence of the offending pster, and then type in some detail of it into his phone. He then took out his stanley knive, cut the poster away and put it into his rubbish back before taking another photo of the now bare lampost, to prove that the poster had been removed. Fair enough i thougt, whilst casting my eye up and down the street seeing several other lamposts that were apparently going to receive the same treatment. We watched him carry on down the street, stopping at the next and removing a poster from that one too. At the point, coming up the street from the opposite direction, a young lad with a man bag, listening to his iPod abbruptly stopped by the first lampost, and after quickly checking around produced two fly posters for a different event and a role of sellotape. In an obviously well rehearsed routine, within seconds, there were two new posters taped to the lampost, an he was on his way. To get two posters up in that short amount of time was an art form. The ranger had been at that lampost less than a minute before, and was still within site albeit it 100m down the street. Genius! Unfortunatly, the bus came to pick us up before the ranger returned, but i would have loved to see his face when he returned to his parked truck next to the same lampost to see the new poster.
Anyway, on the bus we did go and we made our way back to Hyde Park. We got off at the Northern end of the park, and headed for the Anzac Memorial. A huge stone built monument building next to their pool of reflection built to commemorate the lives lost in war.
We walked through the park and on to Archibald fountain, which seems to be the central area of the park. Its good food month in Sydney, and for the next week, Noodle Night is held in the grounds of the park. We will visit this before we leae the city, but it looks a big and significant afgair with many stalls set up and thousands of chairs provided for people who attend.
Lunch obtained, we headed back for the park before then moving back down towards circular quay. We had also heard of a market running in the Rocks area. Another collection of stalls selling all sorts, but perhaps slightly more geared up for the tourist brought by the thousands tl the cruise ship port only a matter of a couple of hundred meters away. We want to buy hats. Though there were many stalls selling hats, we didn't. In fact we didnt buy anything.
We went, back to circular quay to Buckleys. A good bar come bistro serving a good selection of beers and wines. Drinking followed. Tatachilla pinot fruit based drinks for the lady. A selection of James Squire craft brews for me. Much hilarity also followed based on facebook chatter between the Wood Martin clan and the Hill Horton hoodlums. Top tip for a gelato in Sydney, try the place next to the train station in Cirucar Quay. Tidy :-)
The sun was begining to fall towards the horizon, and it was time to head back to the hotel. It was time for a quick freshen up, before an evening walk over to Darling Harbour. If you are ever in Sydney, pay a visit in the evening to eat at one of its many waterside resteraunts. It's crazy and really lively. We also found out that every Saturday, there was a free fireworks display around 9 ish for the month of October. We went harbourside and found space in a resteraunt, drank more beer and wine and ate pizza. The fireworks were good, and following them various street entertainment popped up harbourside and the partying into the night continued. Harbourside around Darling Harnour is also full of shops and other attractions. We still wanted to buy hats. We didn't. We still haven't bougt anything. Apart from food and drink.
Join us next time to read more about hat shopping, and not buying anything else apart from food and drink.

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