Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sydney: Bike the Bridge, Hyde Park Loop and Fortune of War

This was by far my favorite day in Australia. Hanging out with mrC, riding bikes and just moving at our own pace felt really, really good.

We walked back down to The Rocks to a cute little outdoor eatery that we saw the day before for brunch. DARE, Delicious And Responsible Eating, serves everything gluten free. We took full advantage and ordered gluten free toast and banana pancakes with our eggs. Everything was delicious.

We earned that BIG meal after the full body workout we did at the hotel. A little warmup on the treadmill followed by arm and leg circuits then a cool down. My new Lorna Jane tank spoke for me.

After eating we walked around the corner to rent our bikes for the day from Sydney Bike Tours. In the past we have gone on guided bike tours, but this time we went on our own. The bike rental comes with helmets and maps, but we used the bike store app to download the maps onto our smartphone. They gave us a phone holder to attach to the bike and let us use a locker to store our extra belongings while we were biking.

Our first route took us over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To me, this was kind of like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. The dedicated bike lane is on the west side of the bridge, so we could not see the Opera House, but we could see Goat Island. 

On the north side of the harbour, the bike route went by Luna Park, Australia's oldest theme park. It was closed for "filming" but open to walk around.

We rode the path around Lavender Bay past the marina to the secret gardens. We did not spot the home of the Prime Minister, but part of the bike trail was closed for construction. We had to carry our bikes up the stairs to bypass the construction. By the way, my Athleta pants were amazingly comfortable. I love that I felt sporty without having to wear tights.

Back across the bridge we stopped for a gluten free brownie that we got to-go from DARE on Observatory Hill. It was a well-earned treat after riding about 9km.

After our snack stop we continued our biking adventure picking up part of another route. We made our way down Macquarie Street to Hyde Park. Archibald Fountain was a popular photo spot.

We paused at the reflection pool at the Anzac War Memorial at the south end of the park. 

Then we made our way up College Street stopping to visit St. Mary's Cathedral. It was so big and so beautiful. 

We returned our bikes and walked to Fortune of War, the oldest pub in Sydney.

We hung out at the bar learning more about The Rocks neighborhood and tasting some of the local delicacies like crocodile skewers. They tasted like a fatty piece of chicken.

Afterwards we walked back to the hotel.

Coming up next our last day in Australia took us to the mountains.

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