Sydney was lovely, but I wanted to experience something different for a little while, so I took a day trip into the Blue Mountains by catching a train to Katoomba. I arrived in the early morning and hopped on the nearby scenic cablecar, which takes you across the local ravines 270 metres above ground.
Did some hiking through the rainforest for a couple of hours and stumbled upon a school group just as the teacher was asking them what the capital of Canada was.
“No, Danny, not Vancouver.”
“No, Alice, not Toronto.”
“Miss, sorry but I think you’re wrong. It must be Toronto, my aunt lives there.”
I was chuckling so loudly to myself as I tried to pass them by that the teacher guess I was Canadian and volunteered me to provide her students with an answer. What, it isn’t Toronto? Oh right, that other one, Otta– something.
Later I hiked to Echo Point where there’s a great view of the Three Sisters, the famous rock formation whose story differed every time it was narrated that day. The gist, in case you’re interested, goes something along the lines of ‘there were three lovely ladies in the Katoomba tribe who [fell in love with/were sought after] by some hot and bothered men in a neighbouring tribe, and were turned to stone by the Katoomba tribe’s [witchdoctor/clever man/their own father] in order to protect their [lives/virginities/the usual], only the guy who cast the spell died in a bout of tribal warfare, oops, so the ladies now remain permanently petrified.’
You can, if you are so inclined, actually hike onto one of the Three Sisters by way of the 1000+ stair walkway that leads back down into the ravine. Unfortunately, it was impossible to take a photo that could convey how insanely steep this ‘stairway’ is, but it was a lot like hiking straight down the side of a cliff with metal footholds along the way. And the funny thing about descending it is that you’re so afraid of dying on the way down that it doesn’t occur to you that a worse fate awaits: the climb back up.
Amazing views though!
After the Giant Stairway, I was spent, so I hopped on the tour bus and rode it into Leura Village, one of the most charming little spots in the Blue Mountains. Had some delicious lunch, and explored the blossom-covered town from top to toe, before catching the train back into Syndey at sunset.
With love from the Blue Mountains,