Thursday, 12 July 2018

Sydney - Castlecrag and Chatswood - day 4

Saturday 16th June, was a lovely sunny day and after a leisurely breakfast I tidied up the little granny flat where my husband lives, while he replaced my mobile battery....or should I say he managed to destroy my phone, as the screen is frozen, and I'm unable to use it!
I was upset as I had no idea the operation might not work out or I would just stick with charging the phone twice a day as I was doing instead of replacing the battery...

Anyway, Jose had with him a mobile that a friend had given us when we went to Europe in April, so he put my Sim card in that phone and set it up with all my apps and accounts, which was good, but I still can't get used to that phone and I'm hoping my tech-savvy son will be able to rescue my mobile one of these days.

After that we decided to go for a "countryside" walk. 
We took the 206 bus from Middle Cove and alighted two stops later at the Quadrangle shopping village on Edingburgh Road where we started our 1,5km walk towards  Sailors's Bay via curved streets with names of parts of a castle - The Rampart, The Scarp, The Bastion, The Citadel...

At the entrance to the affluent suburb of Castlecrag was a lovely green sculpture with water running down it - The Griffin Memorial fountain by sculptor Bim Hilder  from 1965.

Some of the houses, The Quadrangle shopping centre and the Griffin Memorial fountain

 Castlecrag area was originally owned by a struggling London based company who though that the steep and rocky area was unfit for development, when in 1919 American architect Walter Burley Griffin in partnership with the Greater Sydney Development Association made them an offer to buy 650 acres with more than 6km of water front land and got it at a lower than anticipated price. 

Walter wanted to design a model suburb sympathetic to the Australian natural environment where town planning should respect the natural character of the site's landscape and also focus on establishing a sense of community in the suburb.
Together with his wife Marion Mahony Griffin also an architect and landscaper, they designed and helped build 15 houses in the suburb which were characterised by the use of concrete and stone found at the site matching the natural surroundings, flat roofs to avoid obstruction of views, and with the living rooms at the rear of the house facing views or parks.

On researching Mr Griffin I learned that he won a competition to design Australia's capital - Canberra - and Mrs Griffin was one of the first licensed architects in the world and equally responsible for the design!  A decade later they embarked on the Castlecrag development and subdivision project.

The curved roads lead us to a narrow street downhill to the Middle Harbour peninsula.
Sailors Bay  was at first hidden from view by lots of trees and then all of a sudden there it was, the calm water, the dozens of boats, multi-leved houses on the margins, the sun casting it's golden glow on the water ...  Magical!!

A couple of men worked on their boats, painting, fixing motors...while we walked around admiring the views and the calmness around us.  We had thought we would find a coffee shop down there, but sadly no such thing.

Eventually we gathered our strength to start the uphill climb, very hard on the knees and legs, lol...
There was a bench, and other small statues along the way which had a QR code which my husband read with his QR scanner on his mobile, depicting the story of the suburb and Walter Griffin.

We were back at the Quadrangle shopping village at around 4pm, and decided to take the bus to the suburb of Chatswood, a 30 minute ride, to go and have dinner there and also watch the Chatswood lights festival.
It wasn't as impressive as the Sydney Vivid lights festival of course...but we still had a great night out. The lights went on at 5,30pm and we sat on the steps of The Concourse watching the show for a few minutes.

The Concourse (photo from the net)
The Concourse is an entertainment venue home to a range of live arts, function centre and conference facilities.
The 360 degree projection with NASA's imagery took viewers on an immersive dive into the universe, the stars and the planets.

The main street and a couple of side streets were closed to traffic and the area was full of families enjoying the lights festival, eating out at the numerous food stands.
All of a sudden we saw a group of youngsters "playing drums" on tin cans and on the common Australian rubbish bin, their clothes covered in lights. The Junkyard Beats, were very popular and had the crowd following them all over the street.  I loved it too, it was fun.

The Junkyard Beats
The Westfield shopping centre also lit up, the Junkyard beats headquarters, a sea of pink balloons
Other Light installations
After wandering around we couldn't decide on what to eat from the food stands and decided to go eat an hamburger and sweet potato chips at Grill'dthey make great and "healthier" burgers.
And after a main meal what better than a Belgian waffle with chocolate sauce for dessert, from one of the food stands?  That was a bit too sweet for me actually, but I ate anyway!

From a lot of the advertising, shops, street names, and the people around I gathered that Chatswood has a big Asian community as everything was written in Mandarin? and I even saw an Estate Agent whose window adverts for houses to rent or sell were just in Chinese characters.  I actually found that to be unacceptable, as we are in Australia so why should everyone who doesn't speak that language be excluded?

Our Belgian waffle, the food stands, one of the Chinese translated adverts
And at about 10pm we were done with our sightseeing and walked to the bus stop right by the station and caught a bus home.


  1. Annoying when a mobile dies!
    Flat roofs can be a pain, but the concept sure is interesting.
    Sailors Bay looks lovely andd Ingo sure´d loved the 360 degree projection! Aww and all the lights. And Grill´d - what a day, lol.
    Yep, same here when descriptions come in Arabic only. Why, I wonder. Take English instead or at least added.
    Well, yes, I remember the "ups" you have from a "weekend-relationship" - compensated fun...

    1. Thanks Iris, still hoping my mobile can be recovered, I was so used to it. We had a great day that Saturday.

  2. Dearest Sami,
    Guess by looking for that coffee shop, as both of us always do, we give away our deep European roots! But there are other countries where it is NOT important it seems like...
    What an architectural couple of great fame they were for having such views for keeping the natural environment in line with the buildings.
    You went on quite an adventure, with the Junkyard Beats.
    Hope your son got your cellphone problem solved!

    1. Thanks Mariette, I'm sure if they had a coffee shop there it would attract more people to the marina. My son hasn't had the time to look at my phone yet, soon I hope as I was used to it and don't like the one I have now, can never find anything...

  3. Beautiful area to explore, and I like the concept of the Concourse.

    1. Thanks William, it was well set out and lovely for outdoor events.

  4. That's the bad thing about a lot of cell phones, when they die...they dead

    1. I hope it can still be recovered Adam...maybe it's a lost case :(

  5. This is really fascinating, Sami. I know so little about Australia so your posts are like a colorful textbook! In a good way! Ugh. Cell phones... what can I say!

    1. Thanks Jeanie, nice that people can learn a bit through our posts. I also find that by reading blogs from all over the world I also get to learn a lot.

  6. Some of those really nice and almost private parts of Sydney Harbour and the rivers and inlets can be really hard to get to if you don't have a car. Next time you are there, and there is a bus, take a trip to Balmoral Beach. It is lovely, peaceful and you can get food and coffee. What beautiful shrimp plants.

    1. Yes, Sydney has all these little out of the way bays that makes connections quite difficult. Just looked at the bus app and we can get to Mosman/Balmoral beach from Lane Cove in about 1 hour. I had no idea of the name of those plants Andrew, thank you, I don't think I had seen them before, they are so pretty.

  7. Espectacular as fotografias nocturnas do Concurso, gostei bastante de ver.
    Um abraço e continuação de boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  8. Another fun packed day Sami, you definitely makes the most of every moment. I'm enjoying your Sydney posts so much because I know I'll never get to see these places when we're over to see the family. Good luck with the phone xx

    1. Thanks Grace, it was a fun day. Have a nice weekend.

    2. You too Sami, is Jose home this weekend?

  9. The styles of houses and buildings looks quite familiar, though the location is so far away from my own familiar walking spots. I'd like more explanation of those lighting festivals and drummers!

    best... mae at

    1. Thanks for your visit Mae. That was part of the Lights Festival held annually in Sydney.

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