On a day that feels decidedly spring-like here in Melbourne (conditions are FAVOURABLE for an outdoor laundry hang-out, praise be), I thought it would be fun to figuratively stroll the streets of The Rocks, courtesy of a trip I took earlier in the year, before I make today’s carrot cake.
In a city now predominantly the product of late twentieth century urban redevelopment, The Rocks provides an opportunity to experience an environment where buildings and public places of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth-century still remain.
Stories from the past, such as the life of convict households, publicans’ expansion plans, the habits of sailors and wharf labourers, the changing alignment of the waterfront, can still be read from archaeological evidence, written histories and oral testimony, and the very fabric and setting of many of the buildings themselves. – therocks.com
I stayed in the Harbour Rocks Hotel, right in the middle of Historic Nice Places to See. It was fantastic, and definitely somewhere I would consider staying again. I just loved it.
And it was mere steps away from the Suez Canal, where poor Abigail Kirk gets abducted by a ragtag band of misfits in Playing Beattie Bow (which led to some SEVERE RAISED EYEBROWS from your humble narrator, what a scene, my god), after she had already somehow travelled back in time to the Sydney of 1873.
The book terrified me as a child, and I never finished it. I don’t remember why, but I think it had a lot to do with the cover image.
What a bunch of creepy kids trapped in a creepy glass dome. Creeptown.
I read it again recently, and I hasten to add I think it’s fucking brilliant.
Anyway, the fun of exploring The Rocks so soon after a re-read cannot be overstated. Parts of it wouldn’t be too far off looking like they did in the 19th century… the furtive rat I saw scurrying around was basically straight out of history.
Having said that, The Rocks itself is like nirvana for a history buff like me, and it’s totally my favourite part in all of Sydney, a city I have an … um… strained relationship with.
Sandstone will get me every time, tho.
History and old buildings, YES THANKS.
For me, no trip to Sydney is complete without a trip to the Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar, in Redfern and Barangaroo. It was my first stop when I arrived, and my first stop the next day for breakfast. There’s not a tea I don’t like in the place, and their food is terrific.
This trip, I indulged in an iced Refresh A Mint, a Russian Rabbit, and a Grey Rabbit.
I have 100% been thinking about that Russian Rabbit (a real smoky black tea, its otherworldly), and I hope they bring it back.
And before I knew it, I was back to the train station to get to the airport. I never seem to stay very long! I should, though – I hear the nana-style tea and scones at The Tea Cosy is very much worth a stop-in.