Thursday, 12 February 2015

Glebe – a trendy suburb with some city views


Glebe Point Road

The thing that I have noticed since moving to Melbourne is that when I would come over for a weekend, usually because I wanted to go to the football, I would generally not stray too far out of the city. In a sense, most tourist attractions seem to be located in and around the city centre. Such a mentality tends to act against experiencing the city as a whole (even though there may be some places, such as Manly or Bondi in Sydney that tourists visit). Every city has its own unique character, and every suburb acts to build upon that character.
Okay, there are probably some places that tourists shouldn't visit, such as a suburb like this one:

Run Down Old House
It's probably best I don't reveal this location
but that doesn't mean that everything outside of the city centre should be considered a no go zone.
So, one warm and sunny Friday afternoon I decided that I would jump on the light rail simply to see where it would take me (I like doing that as well, jumping on a train or a tram and getting off at places I would like to visit). I won't necessarily say that I didn't have a plan, I did, especially since we now have access to the wonderful website known as Google Maps. Normally I would pick out a few places that I would like to visit, usually pubs, and then let my journey take me where it will.
The Sydney Light Rail network runs from the front of Central Station and through Darling Harbour (where you can get off for the Casino, the Exhibition Centre, as well a numerous other entertainment spots), however I suspect that most tourists do not venture beyond the Casino. I did, if only to see where it went.

Sydney Light Rail
I could have just looked at this map (the light rail is in purple)
My first stop was at Glebe, where the tram entered a tunnel that was formally used by goods trains to take goods down to the port (much of the light rail network has been built on a disused goods line). After seeing the tram disappear into the tunnel, I thought it would be good to get a video of one coming out, which I did:

I have an addiction to taking videos of rail transport

Anyway, since I knew where I wanted to go, I made my way up a rather steep hill past what were probably some really expensive houses with no doubt an awesome view of the city.

Glebe Houses
I doubt these places are cheap

Sydney from Glebe
Quite possibly the bedroom view.
I could have gone down the hill (and afterwards did because the tram trundled past a pub that I decided the visit) but as it turns out, heading down the hill takes you to a bunch of factories, though you do get a good view of the Anzac Bridge (well, not that good a view because there is a factory in the way).

My trek up the hill brought me to Glebe Point Road, which was basically my destination (since I was already planning on visiting the pub there). However, as is prone to happen, when I was walking towards the pub I discovered some place else I wanted to visit, both of which I will tell you about, however, before I go any further, I better show you on the map where I was:


il Cortile Caffe
325A Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Il Cortile Caffe
Now that is one cool sign
Okay, I didn't go straight into this little cafe as I was wandering down Glebe Point Road as I had another destination in mind, but after looking at the sign I had decided that I would definitely be stopping by on my was back to have a cup of tea. Okay, probably the fact that it was full when I first went past also helped me make up my mind, but fortunately when I walked back the crowds had mysteriously vanished, which meant that I was able to have my cup of tea in peace. The cafe itself had a nice rural feeling about it, and at first I thought it was French, but later discovered that it was actually Italian (which makes me wonder if there are parts of Italy and France that are indistinguishable from each other). Also, they made the tea the way I like it, and that is with a teabag. Okay, that may not be as fancy as some people think, but I don't like my tea uber strong, which means that tea bags do me just fine. Oh, and the staff were really friendly as well, which is always a good thing for a small business.

While the Il Cortile Caffe was really cool, the purpose of my visit was the pub, so I think I should share that with you as well.

Toxteth
345 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Toxteth Hotel
Yep, it's a pub
Well, it seems like the Toxteth is the place to go if you live in Glebe because they have a number of events (and an art gallery, or is it just a function room, called The Tate), including two trivia nights (one of them focusing exclusively on sport) and a slider night (miniature hamburgers for those of you who have no idea what sliders are, and they are $4.00 a pop, which is not too bad). The other thing I noticed is that the food was quite reasonably priced, which probably works to offset the fact that living here is really expensive, so if you don't earn all that much, at least you can still have a meal. I probably should also mention that they have a pretty cool beer garden, which they colloquially call 'The Yard'.
This is not the end of my story though, because I did end up going down the hill, only to discover a pub surrounded by factories. While I could have spent more time exploring Glebe, I decided to jump back onto the tram and continue my journey through the inner west (and maybe, at a later time, I can return here and discover some more out of the way oddities), however my trek into Leichardt will have to be left for another time.

This post also appears on my Travel Blog.

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Sydney Light Rail Map Source: MrHarper use permitted under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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