Traipsing the Inner West

April 23, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Posted in Australia, General, Out and About, Sydney | 1 Comment

On Saturday I took a ferry to Balmain (Thames St) to try and see as much of the inner West as I could before leaving Sydney and in so doing I’d at least finish checking out the inner city.

In Balmain I walked along Darling Street checking out the various shops along the main street before settling down at the Circle Cafe for some crepes and coffee for breakfast. This establishment is just off the street and you pass through its leafy couryard before entering the cafe itself. The cafe appears to have some sort of relationship with the Uniting Church, I’m not sure if that makes the food better or worse. My mocha was reasonably standard but still needed a few sugars to become sweet enough. The crepes with maple syrup and banana were tasty, a little bit crunchy but that contrasted well with the squishy texture of the banana. Throw in the sweet maple syrup and it was all very choice.

Balmain has a small town feel in a big city environment and what with all of the cars and people you can’t completely detach from Sydney but you do lose sight of the city skyline and skyscrapers resulting in a different vibe to similar high streets located within the inner city.

I continued walking through deserted streets, which is a very disturbing feeling coming from the hustle and bustle, until I reached the Lillyfield Metro Rail station which I took to Glebe station. This was my first time on Sydney’s light rail – something I’d generally equated with being a tourist (so now seems like a good excuse). I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and efficient the trip was and amused by the quaintness of having to buy a ticket from an on-board conductor.  

Lillyfield (2)
I wonder if “300” inspired the tipping of the vending machine?

In Glebe I made my way to the markets. I’m not one for markets but I’ve been told it’s quite alternative so I thought I’d give it a go. Wandering through the stalls didn’t change my perspective on markets but if you like this sort of thing I would encourage you to come because it covers a reasonable amount of space and there seems to be a wide range of products on display.  There was also live music and a large-ish grass patch for people to just sit around and eat. Having a common area like this contrasts with all the other markets I’ve been to in Sydney which seem to use up all available space for the stalls.

Glebe (4)
Some dodgy house in Glebe 😉

After the market I went to Sappho cafe on Glebe Point Road for another mocha (Badde Manors was full). Sappho was also very busy and there was about 20 minutes delay before I got another standard mocha. On the plus side this gave my legs a chance to rest and the staff were all very friendly.

After Glebe I walked into Newtown along King Street and ate at Guzman y Gomez, a place Grab Your Fork reviewed a while ago, although I couldn’t recall what was said. I ate some beef tacos and they were ok and call me a bogan but I was kind of anticipating a shell taco rather than the soft tortilla. I guess I don’t know anything about Mexican cuisine.

I’d been to Newtown before but only at night so I was planning on taking this opportunity to check out all of the shops in the area. I think I’d set higher expectations than the reality. While there are numerous food outlets, clothes and books there wasn’t anything in particular I couldn’t access closer to home. Is this being snobbish or inner city elitist?

King Street, near Enmore Road, Newtown.

Newtown (3)
Newtown Courthouse

Next stop was up through Newtown to Camperdown, through some random park, before arriving at my old University – University of Sydney – to trade some of my games and DVDs with members of my old kendo club as part of the big sell up and move extravaganza. I haven’t been back to training for almost a year but fortunately there are still quite a few I know and they’re all as friendly as ever. We made our way to Market City for dinner and hung out for a bit before going our separate ways.

How is it that the Master Builder’s Association is located in this building?

University of Sydney (1)
The University of Sydney.

University of Sydney (8)
University team playing rugby and winning.

I have to admit by the time I returned home I was knackered and fell asleep on my bed/couch/table whatever you want to call the only piece of furniture I have left. This is a little bit concerning for my future travels but I’ve got 2 weeks to improve my fitness. That’ll happen.

Like learning languages…man, I’ve been slack with that. I’ve now got 2 weeks to learn traveller’s basic Japanese. I think I’ll end up procrastinating till the flight over – that should be enough time. Right? Right?

1 Comment »

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  1. F**k me, I miss the Inner West – even with your sceptical eye you still manage to make me very homesick for a place I lived in for less than a year. Sydneysiders, how lucky are you?

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