Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Summer in Sydney

It’s no secret I love the New York Times. It’s a less known fact that the Times loves me. A prime example being the time the food section provided a pinup of supernatural brownies. This weekend the NYT did a travel feature on rock pools at Sydney beaches. How convenient.

Back in the day, aristocrats and convicts alike created baths by enclosing corners of the beach with rocks. The writer called them the “original infinity pools.” People swim in them for the scenery and feel of the ocean without the threat of sharks or rough surf. There are lap pools you usually have to pay for or be a member of to use, like Wylies Baths at the south end of Coogee, but I took a dip at Giles Baths, which was at the opposite edge and free.

The baths were first known as the Bogey Hole. From the 1850s and into the early 1900s, men swam at the north end of the beach, and women kept to the south.

Apparently five years ago some people thought they saw the Virgin Mary in shadows on the cliff and it became a pilgrimage site for a while. I didn’t see her, but I thought it was cool the clouds seemed to imitate the rocks.

That same year, the northern headland was renamed Dolphin Point to honor the six members of the Coogee Dolphins rugby team, who died in a bombing in Bali in 2002. A sculpture serves as a memorial for the 91 Australian victims in the attack.

Of course, I wouldn’t have known all this if it weren’t for the good ol’ Times.

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