The base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and area to the west of Sydney Cove lies the suburb known as “The Rocks.” Buildings were carved into the sandstone, giving the area its name and it’s the oldest settlement in Sydney. We set out to explore The Rocks via a friendly guide from The Rocks Walking Tour company.
In touring the area, we passed by this tourist feeding sugar packets to the local parrots. Our guide explained that they had adapted to become more colorful versions of our city scavengers- pigeons. When we passed them, she scolded them with a stern, “You naughty, naughty parrots!”
The Rocks has a colorful history- as an initial settlement for the convict colony, years of starvation without reinforcements/supplies, a slum, gang fights, and even bubonic plague! Cadmans Cottage (below, right) has stood throughout it all as Sydney’s oldest surviving building.
The warehouses (below, left) are original buildings that have been converted to restaurants with ocean views. One contains Wolfies, where the wedding would be held that evening. From the below photos, one can see how early settlers carved dwellings into the cliffs and the “outdoor museum” (shells of original housing) that remain as a testament.
The below view was taken from the original dwellings. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about the mixture of architectural styles that interests me.
After our tour, we stopped by one of Sydney’s outdoor markets- The Rocks Markets– in search of a souvenir.
Tempted by the boomerangs, Australian license plates, and some neat Australian beer bottles, which had been flattened into cheese trays, we settled on some Australian wildlife prints by Mark Zabel. We selected the animals that we had most enjoyed while in Australia- the sleeping koala for the shots taken at Taronga Zoo, the Tasmanian devil (and 20 minutes spent trying to snap this shot without glare), the lounging kangaroo, and the sleeping wombat (saw lots of those at the Zoo!)
After returning to the hotel, we headed back over to The Rocks for the wedding at Wolfies. Simple and heartfelt, the ceremony was touching, dinner was fantastic and we danced until our feet hurt! I did forget my flash, so I took very few photos- the sign of a great time!
During a break in the action, I slipped outside with Jennifer to snap a few photos of the Sydney Opera House. Until that point, a large cruise ship had blocked the view, but the cheering in response to its departure alerted us to the photo opportunity! On the left is a manual photo and on the right is an HDR version, which was better able to capture the texture of the structure.
The lighting was great and Jennifer was the perfect subject!
Below, I’ve edited out the cruise ship from these HDR’d images.
At the end of the evening we again gathered in our hotel room to continue celebrating with the newlyweds and present them with our group wedding gift- a trip to Detroit with a hand-made, tailored guide. Such a thoughtful idea coordinated by George!
The evening of the wedding soon became the early morning of the next day, so no photos were taken on our final day- Day 8/Saturday. We arose and walked to Paddy’s Market before packing up for the trip home. Such a wonderful trip celebrating the love of John and Terri and the generosity of the couple and their parents. We were thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to celebrate with them!
Upon our return, we celebrated our first year anniversary (November 16th!) and I began reading a souvenir from the trip- a book recommended by Mim. The Floating Brothel was a fascinating read and interesting insight into the lives of the female convicts aboard the Lady Julian, the first female convict ship to reach Sydney.