Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vacation 2013 - Day 2 - Manly, The Rocks, and the Library

We pretty much visited the Blue Mountains on Day 1 because he had been offered a ride to the train station and that is pretty much all we had planned to do for sure in the Sydney area before we had arrived.  On day 2 we decided we wanted to take a Ferry Ride and had read that the Manly Ferry was not a ride to be missed.  So we took it.

Cool Fact:  The Manly Ferry offers free wifi

Sydney from the Manly Ferry
We arrived in Manly, and there was a very small little beach with only a few people on in.  Could this be the famous Manly Beach of the two famous Sydney area Manly and Bondi (pronounced Bond-eye) beaches?  It turns out the answer to that question was no.  The real Manly Beach was a short walk away.  Along the way were several decently priced souvenir shops (as opposed to the rather expensive food)

Travel Tip 1:  When buying liquid refreshment on vacation, grocery stores and/or drug stores are usually the cheapest place to obtain these.  The first day we payed an arm and a leg for water as we were thirsty and the convenient nearby water was expensive.  At Manly, we found a grocery store and bought some liquid refreshment and chips and enjoyed them at the fake Manly Beach. 

The Real Manly Beach
We made it over to the real beach, took a few pictures and spent some time enjoying it (although we had not brought our swimming suits).  We then headed back to the wharf, and my dad got some massages at a booth near the wharf and grocery store we had utilized earlier, had lunch, and headed back on the ferry.

Harbor Bridge (sometimes called the Coat Hanger) From the Manly Ferry
When we arrived back in Sydney, we took an audio tour of The Rocks that my dad had downloaded on my iPad.  It was very informative and interesting.  The Rocks was the area of Sydney that was settled first.  One of my favorite parts was learning about the wood block streets.  Along the way, we stopped at the cruise terminal to see if we could drop off our bags early and learned that we could - hooray! 

replica of wood block roads
A short time later, we realized that we had forgotten to print our boarding passes and our luggage tags.  We didn't have a printer, and we hadn't really seen any internet cafes - but we had seen a library.  After our Rocks tour, we headed off to the library (which has free wifi, by the way - but no printing options from the wifi) where I obtained a library card and we added money to it for internet use and printing and printed out our boarding passes and luggage tags.
The Customs House, where one of Sydney's Libraries is located

Quantas Ad sand sculpture in front of the Customs House

More of the Quantas Ad sand Sculpture
Lesson Learned:  The cruise ship did have luggage tags available on site that could be filled in by hand so we did not have to print those.  It is probably a good thing we printed our boarding passes, though.

After that, we grabbed a bit to eat and headed back to where we were staying.  This time we decided to take the bus, because it looked like it dropped us off a little closer to where we were staying, and I was hoping to avoid the hill climb.  Unfortunately, the stop was still at the bottom of the hill, but we did having the opportunity of taking the not-so-famous Perry Steps, and it was closer to our accommodations. 

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