On Sunday I ventured out of my immediate neighbourhood for the first time in weeks. I took the ferry from my local wharf (I’ve never seen more than a handful of people of that route, so social distancing was absurdly easy) to Circular Quay, where I stepped into an alternative universe: the buildings were all there, but the vast majority of people had been stripped away. My goal was the botanic garden (still open in the lockdown, although all its buildings and cafes are closed) and the easiest route is to walk along the quay and past the opera house. All so unthinkingly familiar — but this time, also so very strange.
I generally scurry along this stretch, dodging dawdlers and tourists. No need for that now.
The next shock was the forlorn, stripped-down Opera Bar. This place I avoid like the plague — so noisy, so crowded!
Looking back at Opera Bar from the other end. I’ve never taken a photo with all the people; the one on the right, below, is from https://www.sydney.com.au/images/circular-quay-restaurants1.jpg.
I then walked around the opera house, rather than crossing in front. At the harbour end, I encountered one other person; there are usually dozens here.
It was time to head for the gardens. My ferry is only hourly, and this eerie ghost town with its memories of happier times was not somewhere I wanted to have to kill time if I carelessly missed my return. I took one look at the hordes on the main path that runs along the water and chose another route.
And indeed, away from the harbour, the gardens were fairly deserted, and as lovely as ever.
Usually, after a stroll around the gardens I’d finish off with a glass of bubbly at Portside, another venue at the opera house but much quieter and more civilised than Opera Bar.
So it was back on the ferry and home again.
Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walk. (I see she has a cheese fest this week, oh yes!)