Tour of The Rocks / by Jessica Lee

This is where I went today: also known as "The Rocks"

Not only is this place one of the top tourist destinations, because of the fabulous view of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, it also has an interesting history. It was the first European settlement in Sydney and used to be an open air jail, and then became a "hotbed of vice" full of sailors, drunks and brothels in the late 19th century.

One of my favourite things about this place is its old buildings and its architecture.

Here is a picture:

The whole place is just beautiful and lively. If I were to compare it to an area of Toronto, it would be the Distillery District and Harbourfront combined. And those just happen to be two of my favourite areas of Toronto. So you can imagine what emotions were evoked in me from being at The Rocks.

I caught the free bus from Central Station early in the morning and arrived just before 11 am.

I was greeted by the guttural sound of a didgeridoo, which is an aboriginal Australian instrument- the busker obviously there to appease the tourists in the area. Can you imagine having to put on all that face paint and body paint every weekend to play the didgeridoo?

This is what Circular Quay (this is all part of The Rocks) looks like: (below) Lots of ferries go to different islands/beaches all around Sydney and this is where they all depart from, so the place is pretty busy.

This is the Harbour Bridge.

Circular Quay from the viewpoint of boats and ferries coming in.

The Sydney Opera House!

At one point, I sat down and just sketched the Opera House over and over again. I really admired the architecture of the building. It's just brilliant, how nicely the curves go together, if you notice, all the curves are at different angles and all the lines that fall down from the curves are different angles as well. The whole thing really is quite complex and must have taken forever to design and do all the equations for the physics of the building so that the whole thing doesn't fall down. Keep in mind it's on top of water too!

Below is a photo of the Park Hyatt hotel right beside the Harbour. Imagine staying here! Looks pricey, but I'd love to be able to do that some day. I bet the beds inside are just gorgeous with high thread count sheets and flowing curtains when you open up the windows. And the view would just be spectacular.

This is one of the restaurants at The Rocks. I loved its classiness and how most of the walls were made of glass. Just beautiful.

I was walking around just exploring when suddenly, I happened upon Pancakes on The Rocks!

I had been feeling quite deprived of pancakes since I used to go out for breakfast in Toronto all the time, and then not having them when I was in Hong Kong (because it's just not a thing there), and then not having them for two weeks or so since being in Sydney. This was the first time having restaurant-made pancakes for maybe a month.

I was elated.

The menu kind of scared me. They had all sorts, chocolate, with all kinds of fruit, etc, etc.

To keep things simple, I just ordered a short stack.

To be honest, they weren't that great. They came with ice cream but not butter, though I had requested butter, which made me question whether if this place was for real or not.

How can you not eat pancakes without butter!?! That is just disrespectful to whoever invented pancakes!

Anyway, I got out of that place and wandered around the markets at The Rocks. The vendors sold mostly touristy products like candles, gems, leather, clothes, etc etc. I didn't get anything.

This is what it looked like.

The vibe there was great. They had graffiti artists "performing" in one corner and a DJ spinning beats. The whole place was just full of happy people enjoying their day.

I snuck into a bookstore and an authentically Australian Ugg boot shop. Both made me happy.

This made me smile too:

I hope everyone else is having a lovely weekend as well!