Sydney seems to be a popular thing to name a city. There’s Sydney, Australia of course, and on the west coast of Canada, Sidney B.C. on Vancouver Island. Maybe Canada has a thing for Sydney on islands because they also have Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island in the Maritime provinces on the east coast. Perhaps the different spelling in BC is to make sure the mail goes to the right coast.
Our early season cruise on Holland America Veendam brought us to Sydney before the town seemed quite ready for the tourist season. The greater percentage of the area’s tourist attractions hadn’t opened yet, or could be seen by appointment only. We didn’t book a shore excursion, which would have been the only way in to see some things. Instead we opted to just get off the ship and see what we could find.
A giant fiddle, the main attraction at the port, sat right next to the ship covered in scaffolding.
When we finished walking around town and returned to the ship we noticed a crew starting to remove the scaffolding. They had it fairly close to all the way off when our ship left port, but not quite.
We looked at some old churches in the town. A tour group happened to come in one of them. When they all sat down to listen to their guide, we sat too. It would seem rather odd to be the only ones wandering about while someone was speaking.
We learned that the former church which is now a museum was built from bricks taken from a French fort after the French lost their territory in Canada to the British. The original congregation eventually outgrew the church and built a bigger one.
We didn’t find a whole lot in town and wandered down to the boardwalk. Sydney has a nice boardwalk along the water’s edge with some great vantage points for ship and fiddle photos, or in our case ship and scaffolding around the fiddle photos. I have no idea if the scaffolding was there to protect the fiddle from winter storms or if it needed some work done.
Sydney has a lot of historic buildings and museums. Excursions from the ship venture farther out into parks and natural areas of the island or to historic places like an old fort or a mining museum that includes a tour through an actual former coal mine.
Copyright My Cruise Stories 2016