I was recently looking at some of our posts from last year at this time. It’s hard to believe we’re 14 months into our Australian adventure. We still feel like visitors here! And yet in some small ways we are getting more expert in knowing our way around. Now that spring is here we’ve started taking more weekend walking excursions. One of our recent jaunts was a random wander out of Chinatown one afternoon when we were in search of a carbon steel wok. All of the Chinatown shops carried the same bottom-of-the-line cheapo version– really thin and with a wobbly wooden handle that hadn’t been properly assembled. So we carried on down Broadway south of Central train station to a small mall, where we found a kitchen shop that had the heavier-gauge wok we were looking for– for just $5 more than the Chinatown version. With the wok in his backpack, Eric and I left the mall and decided to explore a bit further down the Paramatta Road. [Eric] I’ll just note here that we should have bought the Wok at the end of the trip, as it turned out I had that pan on my back for about 4 hours.
A view of the downtown from Broadway in Chippendale
We walked through a pretty little park called Victoria Park, admiring the fountain and the ducks and the public pool, and found ourselves looking up a hill to an imposing Victorian-style building.
Victoria Park, with Victorian “castle” in the distance
Shade trees near the duck pond in Victoria Park
Little did we know, the building at the end of the park turned out to be the University of Sydney. Funny, being so close to a city university, it never occurred to us that the campus might be so picturesque, like a traditional British or Ivy League college.
A view of the Great Tower at the University of Sydney’s Quad
Detail of one of the windows
Pass-through to the Quad
As we approached, we were quite impressed by the grandeur of the main hall. It turns out that the main quad on campus was built to imitate Oxbridge (Oxford + Cambridge) and is considered one of Australia’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. The buildings were completed in stages. The Great Tower pictured above was completed in 1862. Later wings were not completed until the 1920’s.
Detail of one of the interior wall stained glass windows. The portico has openings above each window to allow light to hit the glass
Wooden door leading to one of the interior rooms off the Quad
Detail of the door handles
Ornate iron work on one of the turrets in the Quad
We lingered here for quite some time, taking in the atmosphere. There was even a wedding taking place on the grounds, with bridal photos being shot in the quad. Here are some photos of the bride and of the limos parked outside the chapel.
The wedding party preparing to get their photo taken
A mixture of Rolls-Royce and Jaguar limousines, although they all look like the same model, they’re from different makers
Hood ornament on the Jag
Our journey continued back through the side streets of Chippendale, where the former Carleton and United brewery (makers of Foster’s and Victoria Bitter) is located. The old factory is slated to give way to new residential development.
Street tiles noting that we are in Chippendale
The side of the brewery, highlighting the traditional factory roof shape to allow additional light onto the floor
By sunset we were wandering back to Darling Harbor, Eric still carrying the pan on his back, and wondering what kind of situation we could possibly come across that would require the ready services of a back-mounted wok. Of course none came up, but we would have been a sorry sight if we had found ourselves in desperate need of a wok and had come up short. As the Boy Scouts say, “Always be prepared”.