Saturday, September 17, 2016

A walk through Balmain and Birchgrove

Robin had suggested that we take a walk though the suburbs of Balmain and Birchgrove on the southern side of the Harbour from where we are staying in Woolwich.


But first, a photo of rowers out on the harbour in the early morning. They are there every morning, even if it is raining.


We took a ferry to the wharf at Mort Bay (middle right), walked up Thames Street to Darling Street, then west through the shopping district of Balmain. W then headed down to the park at the right (Elkington Park) and then followed the harbourside to the tip of the peninsula at Birchgrove. From there we took a ferry home.


Arriving at the Balmain wharf at Mort Bay.



We walked up Thames Street.


Balmain was at one time the epitome of a working class suburb. However in the past fifty years or so, its location close to the city has resulted in the suburb becoming very trendy. Old workers houses have become very expensive.


Some of the older houses were definitely not worker's cottages.





Robin walks in front of this duplex house with the matching door ways.


We reached the main drag, Darling Street. By the way, this is the first time I ever visited the area.



I think we all need something like this. And no, I do not mean the parking sign.


Yes, it is September and the cricket season has started.


Serendipitous meeting.


Balmain was the center of the early days of the Trade Union movement in Australia.



Post Office.


You don't see a Post Office with a cupola and it turns out the building also contained a Court House.


My major hobby is listening to classical music on my DIY hi-fi system. Whenever I enter a building or house for the first time, I check out each room to see if it would make a good listening room. If I could make the windows sound proof and deal with the sound reflections from the glass, I reckon this might make a good room for listening.



The shopping street was infested with coffee cafes and espresso bars. Since it was a Saturday morning, most had lots of customers except for this one.

Perhaps they should have named it 'The First Church of Coffee'.




We walked down this lane to Elkington Park.




The Dawn Fraser baths. She first came to fame in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics by winning the 100 meters freestyle. She repeated winning in both 1960 and 1964 Olympics and was the first woman to break one minute for the event. She came from Balmain and developed a reputation as a larrikin.



Looking across the Harbour to nearby Cockatoo Island.



Cliff side beside the Harbour.




Many of the old houses have been demolished and replaced with apartment buildings.


Still, some beauties like this remain.




We love looking at all the vegetation in these older suburbs.





Small park by the water.



Birchgrove Tennis Courts. They were all in use.


We continued along Louisa Road in Birchgrove towards the ferry wharf. This street is lined with many interesting houses. The wiki article mentions that this suburb has the highest proportion of post-graduates (17%) in Sydney.



I noticed the view through the house to the Harbour.




I must admit I was not too keen on this.


But I love the use of sand stone.



Cricket game. It was wonderful to hear the sound of willow on ball.



Beautiful colours on the wall of the house.


I found this interesting if a bit brutal.


Garage door. Very impressive.



A bus comes down here to the ferry wharf.



Not a bad location to go fishing. I doubt that I would eat the fish however since this area was quite industrial at one time. Marianne said she saw one fisherman throw back a fish he had caught.





The small wharf, but it does have a shed for when it rains.




Not a bad location for a house, overlooking the Harbour next to the ferry wharf.


The ferry arrived on time and we crossed the harbour and walked home to be rewarded with a cold beer.


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