Friday, 22 April 2016

# 12 - The Rocks

The Rocks rocks.  Yeah, I know.  But we're at number 12 out of 100 now.  It's hard to write 100 reviews without throwing in a few painful and obvious puns.  I apologise.  

Playing two up in The Rocks on ANZAC day - it's a crazy gambling game that is only legal to play on ANZAC day

Moving swiftly on, The Rocks is an area in the centre of Sydney.  It is home to cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, museums and markets, among others.  It covers the area between Circular Quay and the main road on to the Harbour Bridge.  It was one of the first settlements after the colony was formed in modern day Sydney, and as such, at has a long and often ignominious history.  These days, it is all very nice and tourist friendly, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see and hear about some of the area's less proud times.

Funny how the pub doors always seem to be shut when we get there...
There are a number of ways to see The Rocks and to hear about its history.  You can do a walking tour, you can visit some of its museums, or you can do a self-guided tour of the area.  There are lots of winding streets, steep hills, steps and alleyways.  It's a great idea to go for a wander and if you see an alleyway or backstreet, go down it.  In the past, this would have been an invitation to be robbed or worse, but these days the streets are pretty safe, although you might want to watch some of those stairs after a few beers in one of the area's many 'oldest' bars in Sydney.

Sydney's Oldest Hotel?  Why not?
There are also a couple of museums in the area, as well as a Visitor Centre.  The Susannah Place Museum gives a tour of some old housing, and lets you see what it was like to live in the area during different time periods, while The Rocks Discovery Museum is a very well organised free museum displaying various exhibits about the area and its history.

The Rocks Discovery Museum, thankfully not a museum about discovering rocks
Of course, it would be remiss to talk about The Rocks without giving some details on the pubs.  There is plenty more to the area than just pubs, but we spent a disproportionate amount of our time in the area in the many watering holes.  If you really want to get some stories behind the pubs, and like the idea of a guide to show you around, then an organised pub tour is worth considering.  They are great fun, if a little expensive.  If you prefer to go alone, then there are no shortage of pubs.

Please always make sure you stay visible when drinking in The Rocks
If you do find yourself doing a tour of the bars in The Rocks, make sure to check out The Australian Hotel.  It has a few interesting features, including a pizza that is half kangaroo meat, and half emu meat.  However, the star attraction is the plaque that hangs on the wall beside the bar.  It is there to honour the brave warriors who complete their 'beer passport'.  This is a list of 140 Australian beers that they sell in the bar.  It will come as no surprise to those of you who have read a few of my posts, to learn that we are among the honoured few with our names on that plaque.  It is great to know that we achieved something during our time in Sydney.

Our names are displayed just under the border of WA and SA - a proud, proud achievement
Anyway, now that I've got our boast out of the way, I will attempt to summarise The Rocks.  It is a lively and historic area, right in the centre of Sydney.  It is a great place to learn about the history of Sydney, and life in the early days of the colony.  It's also a great place to go for a few drinks.

Are you also on the Australian Hotel Hall of Fame?  Do you think I've focused too much on the drink related side of The Rocks?  As always, please leave questions, comments, and messages of congratulations for our magnificent achievement in reaching the hall of fame, below.

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