Two young women carrying bunches of flowers walk past in the opposite direction. They’ve already been to the flower market. I walk along a fence lined pathway following yellow Pedestrian signs. It is noisy. Forklift trucks laden with boxes of produce whiz past. I have a vague plan. The produce market first, then the flower market and then Paddy’s. There’s also the Market Plaza, the hotel and the craft brewery.
I turn into an area buzzing with activity, a little unsure of myself. Am I even allowed to be here? Everyone else seems to know where they are and what they are doing. They are all wearing high viz vests. I watch out for spinning forklifts. A few men nod in greeting. I take a couple of photos. A security person walks over. He politely but firmly tells me that I need permission to take photos aand must put my camera away. He makes sure I do so.
Dodging forklifts and making a few wrong turns, I find the reception area of Sydney Markets. Helpfully, Mio gives me a permission form to complete and loans me a brand new orange high vis vest. She is going my way and offers to show me around. She explains how the large shed in front of us is used by the Growers Market from 6 am to 10 am and then Paddy’s moves in.
Suitably refreshed, I make my way to Paddy’s via the wholesale market which is already all but closed. A truck pulling trailers overflowing with empty packaging drives past. The Growers Market is over and Paddy’s has moved in. Quite efficient.
Shoppers with granny trolleys inspect the fruit and veggies displayed at outside stalls. A man greets me and offers me some sugar snap peas. A father of four, he economises by shopping here each Friday. Inside, it is quieter. A strong fishy smell greets me. I didn’t realise you can buy fresh fish here.
And meat, chicken, cheese, nuts and small goods. There are socks, toiletries, clothes and luggage. A spicy aroma reaches me from a stall displaying pyramids of brightly coloured spices, herbs and teas.
After a quick walk through the Sydney Markets Plaza, I drop into the hotel and Paddy’s Brewery. It’s a surprising find. A beer connoisseur could finish a market visit with a craft beer.