Monday, July 28, 2014

Down Under, Day #9 - Manly

On this morning, I started the day by walking through The Rocks historic district heading to Circular Quay. I had passed the Garrison Church every time I made this walk, but never stopped in, so this morning I decided to check it out. The church isn't all that big, but it's quite pretty inside, and the walls are all decorated with military memorabilia and plaques recognizing the service of the various Australian military organizations.
It didn't take too long to walk around the church, so I continued my trek to Circular Quay to catch a ferry to Manly. All of the tour books say that's one of the best ways to see the Sydney harbour. It was a great ride, about 30 minutes, almost all the way to the Sydney heads and the Pacific Ocean, but MAN it was windy on that boat! I found out later that night that Sydney was experiencing gale-force winds through the day. That explained a lot! 
Me at my happy place, the Opera House
I sat in the very front of the ferry, which made the wind even worse.
The Heads, the opening to the Pacific Ocean 
Manly is a quaint, picturesque town that spans a narrow strip of land between Sydney Harbour and the Pacific Ocean. Their slogan is "Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care." The ferry lets visitors off on the harbour side, but the beach is one of Sydney's best-loved ocean beaches. It was really pretty, with nice white sand and turquoise water. I grabbed a quick take-away lunch and ate my chips (fries) on the beach, guarding them against greedy seagulls. 
I decided to walk along the cliffs over the Shelly Beach, an isolated little beach a short walk away. The walk is quite scenic, with little silver sculptures embedded in the rocks. 
I continued on past Shelly Beach, up the cliffs to a lookout spot where several people were watching for whales out in the ocean. I didn't see any. I considered making the longer (couple of hours) walk around the north head to the point where you can often see ferry penguins and whales, but with the high winds, I was a bit nervous about walking further on the cliffs, so I headed back to Manly and caught the ferry back to Sydney.
Circular Quay - Sydney's travel hub
I couldn't end the day without walking around my Opera House and then watching the sunset over the Opera House on the other side of the Quay. Have I mentioned how much I love this building?

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