Tara, Aarron and I woke up really early Sunday morning to catch the train out to the Blue Mountains. Aarron had planned a great day for us, seeing the Three Sisters, riding cable cars, and having high tea at the Hydro Majestic hotel. When we arrived in Katoomba, we let all the backpackers who were riding the train with us get on the first tour bus while we got coffee (always more coffee, I love it!) in a nearby shop. Then we caught the next bus 30 minutes later out to Scenic World, stopping for photos along the way.
On the left are the Three Sisters. Legend has it that a magician had three daughters who were being attached by a monster. To save them, he turned them into stone, and himself into a bird, but in the process dropped his magic wand. When he went to retrieve it, it was no longer there, and to this day the sisters remain in rock form, waiting for their father to find his wand and turn them back to their human form.
At Scenic World, we started with riding the Skyway (a kind of cable car, but different from the Cableway we ride in a bit) across a ravine for awesome views of the mountains and a water fall.
The Skyway has a see-through floor that is activated when the car is in motion, but unfortunately it seemed a bit scuffed for a really clear view.
Next we took the Cableway down to the bottom and walked around the temperate rain forest. This area used to be popular for coal mining, and they’ve turned an old mine into an informative show. You just push a button and the guy inside comes to life and explains to you the history and what it would have been like to be a miner back in the day. It had a very Disney feel to it.
I took a million pictures of the Three Sisters, and at least one of every tree and plant we passed. I wish we would have had time to walk around the Jamison Valley a bit more, but we took the shorter route to ride the Railway back up.
Aarron told us a trick to skip the lines. Everyone rides the Scenic Railway down to the forest floor and the Cableway back up, but if you do this in opposite order, you can get right on both, no waiting at all. This was great advice for us since we had a limited amount of time. The Railway funicular is the steepest in the world, at times reaching an incline of 52 degrees and climbing 1,020 ft. The ride up took less than a minute and felt like a roller coaster at Disneyland, except real!!
We had to hurry back to the bus to finish the trip around the park to get back to the train for high tea in Medlow Bath. The views from the hotel were amazing overlooking the Megalong valley.
While we were waiting to be seated, Bob Geldof decided to wander around the restaurant. As Aarron and I were trying to decide (out loud) if it was him or not, his handler informed us that it was Sir Bob Geldof. Right. He was a bit spacey, but it was entertaining. It’s kind of hard to see, but that’s him in the hat, walking through the doors. I didn’t know it was him when I took this picture.
The tea and sandwiches were good, but the champagne! Pol Roger! That’s seriously my kind of tea.
I can’t believe how fast this trip has gone. I have 3 more days of working, and one more tourist activity left. Sydney is such a cool city, and a very easy city to be in. It would be an fun place to live, with its cultural diversity, endless beaches and laid back attitude. Too bad it’s such a long flight from Seattle or I would come here all the time! I’m sure I’ll have one more post to end this Australia recap because I have to tell you about the last, possibly coolest thing we have left to do! And of course, thank you so much to Aarron for being my own personal tour guide. She made navigating this city so much easier and saved me from spending way more than I needed to.