Mother Nature finally decided to have her say with my trip to Sydney and the tease of rain I experienced previously now became a deluge. With that in mind, I opted for a quick meal of good ol’ comfort food with an Aussie twist. I had heard good things about a place only a few blocks from me called Crazy Dog.
Supposedly the thing to get was the lamb dog, which was then recommended to me to get the Honey Dog topping, which was crispy onions, caramelized onion and honey mustard. It was indeed a good choice. The dog itself tasted like biting into a gyro and the onions 2 ways were great counterweights to the richness of the lamb sausage, with the tangy honey mustard pulling it all together. I would definitely be a regular if I lived in Sydney.
It really started to come down so I retreated back to the hotel to let it blow over and get ready to meet up with my local friend Nicolle at the Opera Bar. It was still raining a bit when I left for the venue but shortly after meeting up with Nicole, it started pouring. Patrons who had opted for outside seating soon regretted it and fled the scene. We continued to search out for a seat and finally found one in a different section of the bar but with great view of the harbor.
We shared a few items – steamed pork and veggie dumplings as well as a brown rice poke bowl with salmon. Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and also enjoyed an excellent margarita as we waited for the rain to stop. It finally did so we walked back to Central Quay for another cocktail with a different view of the area. This time I opted for a mojito (that large pink drink was Nicole’s spritzer) which after I gave it a proper muddling, was quite refreshing. Nicole had been up since the crack of dawn so we said our goodbyes. She suggested that I take the ferry over to Manly the next day, which sounded good to me.
I woke up to much better weather so the Manly trip seemed like a great idea. I made my way back to Central Quay and got in line for the next ferry. There was a surly harbor master who kept trying to split up the large crowd into two different sections. I asked him what the difference was and he gruffly replied “all going to the same place, mate.” I noticed though as the ferry pulled up that by opting for the second area, I actually had a direct shot for a coveted seat outside on starboard side. This gave me a perfect spot to take a bunch of pics as we left the harbor and cruised right by the Sydney Opera House.
After we left the immediate area, the ferry kicked into overdrive, going way faster than I was expecting. I counted at least 100 sailboats of various sizes as we sped along through the harbor.
A mere 20 minutes later, we arrived at Manly Wharf, where I had made a reservation as a German place that looked good, overlooking the nearby cove. A pretzel was a must, of course and the dark German dunkel with chicken schnitzel, fries in a mushroom sauce was way better than expected.
After finishing my meal, I needed to walk it off so I took the path down the cove and up some stairs to a pathway that overlooked the cove. It was filled with Saturday picnickers and explorers, some fishing, some hikers and cyclists. It was a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the CBD, and I enjoyed the tranquility. Alas, no tiny penguins were spotted.
As I walked back to the wharf I noticed an esplanade – called the Corso – so decided to check that out. I was surprised to find on the other end a pretty massive beach with surfers catching smallish waves and a sprawling coast line. I ambled down the path and enjoyed the cool breezes while tuning out the usual tourist beach crap like getting a picture taken with a very pissed off parrot.
It was now getting towards late afternoon and figured I would try to beat the masses to the next ferry. That turned out to be a mixed bag as I did get a seat but there were none with views so no pictures from the return route, dear readers. Another 20 minutes later, we pulled up to Central Quay and I made the short walk back to my hotel. My original plans to meet up with Nicole again unfortunately had to change to do a family emergency. That though would give me the chance to explore a bit of the Sydney cocktail scene, with a couple of different options on the docket. More on that and what I expected to be a lazy Sunday, tomorrow.