I needed to fit in a long run, so with the excellent public transportation options in Sydney I decided to run from downtown, across to the north side of the harbor and along some of the shoreline over to Manly Beach. Then I could catch the ferry back.
On the train early on a weekend morning, I started to realize that something different was going on today. Shannon and Julie had mentioned an event called City2Surf that happens every year, a large 14 kilometer race from downtown to Bondi Beach, but they didn't know when it was. Well, as more and more runners got on the train with me, most of them wearing race numbers, I realized that the race was today. More entertainment than I had expected!
And most of them got off at the Museum stop, which is where I had planned to start my run. Too funny.
Hoards of runners heading to Hyde Park, way more people than I thought I'd be starting with this morning:
The ANZAC Memorial, a popular meeting spot for runners this morning:
Apparently there are multiple waves (or lots of people were really late), because part of the race had already started across the way:
Meanwhile, many other runners were hanging out at Archibald Fountain. Wow, this is a huge event!
Finally away from the crowds (although I could still hear the helicopters for a while) as I surveyed St Mary's cathedral:
Fun little (parakeet/budgie/parrot/cockatoo/cockatiel/lorikeet/macaw/?? I may never get these all straight) birds singing in the tree:
Striking public art along the shore:
Awesome yoga location with glass on both sides, although I might be a bit self-conscious doing yoga here knowing people can watch from the sidewalk:
Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, a lovely place to sit and look out over the harbor:
Such a pretty view, although I'm not sure Mrs. Macquarie (a governor's wife) saw quite the same things in 1811:
A naval ship coming back into the harbor with sailors lining the outside of the deck (hard to see, but it was cool to watch):
Plants and birds at the botanic gardens:
A cruise ship, always makes me dream of taking another cruise... oh where can we sail from here?
Running above the quay along the Cahill Expressway:
Solar for John, on the roof of an athletics building:
Back to the art installation at Barangaroo, fun wood maze!
Love this Aboriginal canoe in the "water" on the hillside:
A large sphere filled with 1800 liters (2 tons) of water, creating a lens that flips the scene upside-down. It was neat to watch boats go by, inverted in the sphere, and amazing to imagine building something to hold that much water weight:
Cedar shingle pods, along with a man playing a stringed instrument and a woman in white singing along. Another guy was filming them, not sure why, but it sure was a nice location:
So when you take a bite of a pie and decide "no, I don't want that," toss it in this can along with the rest of your trash (the pie image just made me laugh):
Onto the Harbour Bridge, heading north:
View from the north shore:
I saw this in a neighborhood, a sign that says "No Parking - car stacker in use 24 hours" - I don't know what a car stacker is, but it would be interesting to watch and try to figure it out:
I tried to stay along the water and go in and out to all the points and coves along the north coast of the harbor. That didn't really work completely, as there wasn't always access to the points and I ran into several dead-ends and did plenty of backtracking. Even trying to cut across one or two of the points wasn't obvious. In fact, I faffed around too much in the first section so that I had to pick up the pace partway through in order to make it to Manly at all. But it was fun trying to figure it out.
The little inlets were always pretty:
Awesome tree wall:
Getting further from the Bridge:
I ran by the zoo but didn't see or hear any animals:
First glimpse of the North Head at the harbor entrance:
There actually IS a Chowder Head, awesome!
I believe this is Balmoral Beach, where there was some kind of festival going on (wine tasting or something of the like), very pretty spot:
Working my way toward The Spit, a road that crosses a very large inlet. I climbed a large hill that I probably didn't have to, but I was rewarded with a 7-11 on top that sells Bundaberg soda. I drink very few sugary drinks these days, but that was the perfect time to indulge in one.
Nice long, fast downhill to The Spit, and a good sidewalk to get across:
Lots of people own boats around here:
The trail from The Spit to Manly was awesome, it was actually "a thing" to hike from one spot to the other and it was almost all trail except a couple short road sections. Some fun trail too - and way more up and down that I had expected ("up and down" was pretty much the case for the whole day, actually):
The "up" was worth it for the views, and there's the ferry I'm hoping to catch when it comes back in a little while:
A look at the destination town of Manly:
And another look, from across the last cove:
A couple obstacles remaining to get there, a few trees, lack of trail signs, plus a detour (bridge was out) where a kid took the opportunity to set up a lemonade stand (good lemonade, too). Anyway, here's the easiest of the challenges along the way:
Love the concept of putting a swimming pool in the ocean, so kids can get in the water without getting knocked around by waves:
Manly Beach! I made it!
Just a quick look before running back across town to catch the ferry. Next time hopefully I'll be more efficient getting there so I have time to visit the North Head trails too.
A popular ferry route, and a nice ride back to Sydney.
Back at my cousin's house, taking a look at the deck where everyone else was working while I was running (in my defense, I don't know how much help I would have been, and John tends to work hard enough for both of us). Julie showing me the system of blocks she worked out to help figure out how long to cut the boards:
I wish this photo wasn't blurry, but the smiles are too good not to include here - thank you Julie and Shannon for a wonderful couple of visits!
So that's our tour of Australia! It was marvelous, brilliant really. We're so happy we went, would love to go back, and can't say enough good things about it.