This week’s Wednesday Wander was inspired by an image I used in Monday’s post, of the Sydney ferries at Circular Quay. I lived in Sydney for a couple of years and would often take the commuter ferries across the Harbour, paying a few dollars to bob past some of the most famous landmarks in the world. There are several other ferries which venture further, such as the Manly one which goes out through the Heads. It can be quite an adventure on a rough day, when the calmer waters of the harbour meet the open ocean, the boat rocking as it turns to such a degree the sliding doors flick back and forth and you feel the need to brace yourself.
I’ve visited and lived in other waterside cities as well, where public transport is anything but everyday.
When I lived in Vancouver my home was in the West End but I worked on the North Shore, so I would take the Seabus every day from Lonsdale Quay, then walk the rest of the way home. When we went back to visit last year we took it again – making the short trip across the water surrounded by mountains, Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and the Vancouver skyline. It still only costs a few dollars, and is a beautiful way to see the city.
I visited Venice for only a few days many years ago, yet still remember the colours and light, the way the city felt frozen in time, almost like a film set. I loved that you could spend a few lire (at the time) to catch a water taxi and be ferried around the city past so much beauty and history, and that people got to do so every day as part of their work commute.
Now I live near London, and have taken the riverboats several times, including one memorable occasion where we were on a school trip and supposed to alight at a certain dock, but the boat only stopped for about five seconds, pulling away again as we tried to get thirty Year Two children out of their seats and lined up. A stern word with the operators ensured we had enough time to disembark at the next stop, though it meant a longer walk through the city than we had planned. Still, it’s a wonderful and very affordable way to travel the ancient waterway, past palaces and fortresses and famous bridges.
I’m sure there are many other cities where everyday public transport is a trip – let me know some of your favourites. Thanks for coming on a watery Wednesday Wander with me…