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Yay…a couple of weeks ago I went on my first plane trip in nearly over a year…I bought tickets to see Hamilton the musical at Darling Harbour. I went with a friend I met about two years ago and who I immediately formed a bond. I booked a two bedroom apartment within walking distance of Darling Harbour, which is a harbour and pedestrian area adjacent to the city of Sydney.

When we arrived in Sydney, we took a taxi to our accomodation then went for a walk around the city and did a touch of shopping. It clearly has been some time since I have been to Sydney as now there is a fully functioning tram running throughout the city. I actually don’t mind the tram running through the city as there are no longer cars, trucks etc in the town centre.

We walked back to Darling Harbour and enjoyed a meal and glass of wine at one of the restaurants where we had a view over the harbour which is particularly lovely at night. We also had great views of the new Crown Casino owned by Crown Resorts who have other casinos in Melbourne and Perth and also throughout other parts of the world.

Our next morning we woke early and went for a lovely walk through Darling Harbour, Barrangaroo and Walsh Bay. Barrangaroo is a former container terminal and now is another waterfront precinct with high-rise apartments, commercial office space, shops, cafes and restaurants. We walked along the waterfront with views of our Harbour Bridge which I think is particularly beautiful and a structure I never tire of seeing.

We walked for about an hour or so to Walsh Bay, historically a working port but now regarded as a major arts precinct with its theatre, restaurants, hotel and at the time we visited, a public sculpture exhibition. And at this time of the year a huge Christmas tree with the Harbour Bridge as its backdrop.

We walked along the boardwalk for a little while checking out the sculptures then did a u-turn to return to Barrangaroo to find somewhere to have a late breakfast.

At Walsh Bay, I do love the old but refurbished coloured timber clad cargo sheds along the waterfront.

We found a lovely cafe at Barrangaroo (Wild Sage) and sat inside as by this time it had gotten a little windy and the high-rise buildings blocked out the sun so it was definitely too cold to sit outside. Barrangarro has lovely small streets, painted windows and painted flower boxes; all adding to the ambience of the place.

At the Wild Sage cafe I ordered sourdough toast, mushrooms and a hash brown along with a pot of peppermint tea. My friend Rosi ordered sourdough toast with Haloumi cheese, mushrooms and a side of salmon along with a cup of coffee.

Everywhere in Sydney we were required to wear our face masks, sign into venues using the QR code and show our vaccination certificates. I don’t have a problem with this really for short periods but my face got very warm wearing it for three hours during the musical..it was worth it though as Hamilton was a fantastic musical; so energetic, funny and definitely worth seeing.

Our dinner that evening was at a fabulous restaurant at the Woolloomooloo harbour front precinct. I had booked a very early sitting at Otto Ristorante, again with lovely views of the harbour and apartments and boats of people who have much more money than me! One of our famous movie stars, Russell Crowe, has an apartment here (probably one of the penthouses) said to be worth many millions of dollars.

The restaurant is one where you can ‘people watch’ as there are many restaurants along the boardwalk and people are forever walking up and down; just a lovely place to relax and wish you owned one of the fabulous moored boats.

Otto has a separate vegan menu which is quite extensive. I started with the zucchini flowers filled with cashew nut cheese with a tomato and pine nut pesto. Rosi ordered the raw Abrolhos Island scallops, Sturgeon Black River caviar with cream and lemon oil. Service and presentation at this restaurant is top notch! Our sommelier suggested an Australian Riesling which was very good. House made bread arrives as soon as you are seated with olive oil and balsamic. I could eat this all night as the bread is just so fresh and crusty.

For our main course I ordered the risotto with spinach and garlic whilst Rosi ordered the saffron linguine, Goolwa pipis, southern calamari, bottarga with dill and basil leaves. We also ordered a dish or heirloom tomatoes and basil. I love the food at this restaurant, it’s always beautifully presented and tastes so good. No dessert on this occasion as both of us were just too full.

Time to return to the apartment, watch a little television and return to Canberra the next morning. What a truly great weekend!!