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urlRegion: sydney-nsw
urlHotel: cronulla
THE RYDGES POST
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Travel ian 1/4/2014

Cronulla Beach 2Cronulla is a very special part of Sydney and very much has its own personality and charm that is at once everywhere but not that easy to pinpoint.

There's the lovely art-deco cinema next to Rydges and the nearby milk bars and fish & chip shops almost belong in another era.  The ferry that runs to Bundeena takes passengers there at a gentle pace.

Cronulla is the only Sydney beach with train access so day-trippers and computers are part of the suburb's fabric.  Little Shelley Beach hasn’t changed much down the years with the the tide still ebbing and flowing with families picnicking in the park.

There is usually a gaggle of surfers off the point waiting for the right wave.  At weekends and in school holidays toddlers waddle along the sand with buckets and spades while those a bit older explore the rock pools for crabs, anemones and little fish.  They have no idea they are also gathering special childhood memories.

Retired couples stroll the Esplanade above the rocks and splashing water while joggers artfully dodge them. Fitness and a beachside lifestyle go pretty much hand-in-hand.

The Sutherland Shire website has a list of the Top Ten Things to do in Cronulla, compiled by local ‘insiders’.  It is pretty much about laid back relaxation…

  1. Drop by the Cronulla Visitor Information Centre for advice and brochures about the best spots and must do activities in and around Cronulla.
  2. Shop for swimwear, surfwear and other fashion in one of the many boutiques that line the streets of the Cronulla Beach CBD.
  3. Browse Cronulla Library, Berkelouw Books or the Best Little Book Shop for a read you won’t want to put down.
  4. Read stories from our colourful locals and see a timeline of classic surf life photographs, all captured in the Cronulla Surfing Gallery, Cronulla Central. Whilst in Cronulla Central, don’t miss the remarkable photographic display updated regularly in Cronulla Central Gallery. The images showcase life in the Sutherland Shire. Both galleries are free to visit.
  5. Join in one of Cronulla Library’s regular activities; Storytime for Kids, Crafters Knitters and Crochet Group, Rhymetime to name a few.
  6. Take time out in tranquil Monro Park.
  7. Enjoy a coffee or milkshake in one of the many cafes, sit back and watch the passing parade.
  8. Catch a movie at the art deco styled Cronulla Cinema or take in a show at Cronulla Arts Theatre.
  9. Savour award winning homemade gelato at Frangipani, design your own creation at Cold Rock or create your favourite frozen yoghurt at Froyo’s.
  10. Watch surfers waiting for their next break from one of the cafes or restaurants in Peryman Square.

 

The header photo features a local photographer, Sonia Masarova.  Sonia left the Slovak Republic and went to England, where she met her partner, Steve. In 2008 they followed a dream that led to settling in the Shire and discovering the joys of photography. Steve took this photo of Sonia who in turn is focusing on her subject, Cronulla Beach.

Here’s a link to Sonia’s photography website – http://www.soniamphotography.com/.

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Travel ian 4/29/2013

A while ago I introduced you to Sonia Masarova who left the Slovak Republic and went to England, where she met her partner, Steve. In 2008 they followed a dream that led to settling in the Shire and discovering the joys of photography.

I love this photo Steve took of Sonia who in turn is focusing on her subject, Cronulla Beach.

Here’s a link to Sonia’s photography website – http://www.soniamphotography.com/.

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Travel ian 2/27/2013

Meet Sonia Masarova, a ‘Shire girl’ who arrived from the Slovak Republic via England, where she met her partner, Steve.  In 2008 they followed a dream that led to settling in the Shire and discovering the joys of photography.

I am a big fan of her eye and technique.  Above is a photo of the fishing boat that got stuck on the reef a few days ago.  She admits to often not taking photos of Cronulla because you sometimes take your doorstep for granted.

I have a few more photos Sonia has taken around Cronulla that I will share in future posts but, for now, will sign off with a link to Sonia’s photography website - http://www.soniamphotography.com/.

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Hotel News ian 8/23/2012

Cronulla Beach.  Saturday morning.  5:27a.m.  In my usual neck of the woods that would be considered early but when I overlook the beach and the Pacific from my balcony at Rydges, well, I’m not going to miss the sunrise!

A silhouette flotilla of container ships and oil tankers sit close to the horizon travelling north.  The sun is still threatening its inevitable arrival but much of the suburb is already awake.  With a backdrop of birdsong, dogs are being walked on leads along the esplanade, a few fishing boats bob, black against grey.  Cars, with headlights reflecting, swish through last night’s rain.

Half a dozen hopeful surfers are out, waiting. There’s a small set of waves, near the shore, breaking left to right, resulting in either a missed roll or a five second gentle ride.  Can’t see the point of sitting more than standing out there.  I can do that from my balcony without getting wet, and with a cup of tea.

Seagulls squawk and run at the foamy tide.  Couples and singles stroll the promenade above the damp, hard sand.  Joggers pound the footpath.  Fitness and body image is important in surf culture.  It is a suburb where few gym memberships lapse.  Botox and spray tans without a six-pack body tone just look, well, so fake.

5:55a.m.  The sun arrives.  In large, orange, spectacular fashion.

Dolphins are arching off the break, just metres behind the surfers.  The swell is still small but the ride time has increased around eight seconds.  Do they know something I don’t?  There are now board riders off Wanda Beach, Eloura, North Cronulla and ‘The Point’ off the main beach, all calmly laying claim to their own piece of salty real estate.

I’m starting to see the addiction.  It’s a mental state and nothing to do with endorphins.  Dammit.  I’m actually envious.  I want to be closer to those dolphins, closer to the sound of the crashing waves, closer to nature.  Perhaps closer to myself.  Yoga, meditation and fitness.  That’s a very healthy mix.  And they do know something I don’t.  They’re locals who understand the draw of the sand and the sea.  They knew the waves would arrive and deliver rewards.

The sun is now up and throwing out some rays.  You can feel the day gathering purpose.  Time for a juice and fruit breakfast on the terrace downstairs, even closer to the ocean.  Louis Armstrong comes to mind, "...and I think to myself…"

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Photo: Sonia Masarova (Sonia M Photography)

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