Now that's more like it! Swimming pools, movie stars. This hotel is perched right over Coogee Beach, which is a popular swimming beach. Not quite as popular as Bondi Beach, which is three or four miles North along the coast and a good deal larger. The rugged coastline is breathtakingly beautiful, and flying in one can see endless cliffs and coves and beaches as far as the eye can see. Australia is a fantastically beautiful place. We actually got in yesterday about 5:30 pm, and, it being too early to go to bed (despite being dead-tired), I decided to walk the trail from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach and back. This was quite a hike, and the challenge was augmented by the route being, so it seemed, about 75% grades, all of which seemed 23-30%. There were a thousand steps. Ah, it's all good for my fat self, I know. But my clothes were fit to be tossed in the incinerator by the time I got back (well after sunset). There's a link to a google map of that first night's walk here. (I stopped high on the hill overlooking the descent to Bondi Beach. I was pretty sore at that point, with a bunch of miles in Honolulu the previous day, and the light was almost gone. The hills sure made it feel like more than 3.7 miles, and after doing the same route in reverse I was pretty much all in and slept like a babe).
Today I planned to walk downtown like I did last time (route, approximate when I reach downtown is here). I looked at the maps and plotted a slightly different route than I knew I took last time, only to find I took much the same "different" route the first time! But still a great walk. I could get based here without a complaint in the world--it would be a fantastic place to live.
(First things first: breakfast! I'm becoming the scary guy who photographs his food. But it was so damned good! A chorizo scramble with broiled tomatos on some kind of earthy challah bread. Fantastic!)
(The Royal Randiwick racetrack.)
(The original gate for the racetrack. Everything has been replaced / updated, but this gate, from 1911, has been retained as an artifact. It shows such a different time.)
(The Aussies do love to do artistic things with their junk cars. A previous Sydney post has a car with a huge rock in it. Things that make you go 'hmmmm...')
(On the ferry to the suburb of Manly. It's about a 35 minute ride with fabulous views of the bay and the city.)
(The famous Harbour Bridge. There are people on the very top, and more walking up. You can do this for a fee.)
(Another food picture. This is their idea of a caesar salad. A British influence with the egg on top, and there's Canadian bacon underneath and only the barest hint of caesar dressing. Quite good, actually, but a bit odd. Like the US, Australia is a country of immigrants, and there is a strong international / melting pot flavor to the food and shopping and architecture.)