You know those pictures you see on the walls of your Facebookfriends that make you feel like “I want one of those”? I have it now, check the header!
You know those moments that take your breath away? Today, the Blue Mountains.
It was kind of a last minute decision, but it was on my to do list and as I’m staying in Sydney for the weekend anyway, waiting for money to be transferred from Belgium to Australia to pay for my trip to Darwin and through the Outback, I felt like I might as well just go there now. Well, yesterday, Saturday November 8th.
Take the bus to the Blue Mountains, go check if it’s as beautiful as “they” say, see the ‘Three sisters’ and the Wenthworth falls and come back. That’s what I expected and it seemed like enough to do on a one day trip, depending on how far that National Park is from Sydney.
It was more than that. So much more.
Not taking the driver/guide into account, we were twenty-one in the little bus that drove us around. On our way to the Blue Mountains, we stopped by the side of the Nepean rivier, which is apparently the former venue of the canoeing events during the 2000 Olympics (if not, our guide is a liar!). Yep, just a field of grass with tables and public toilets and a parking lot, but add the words ‘Olympic Games’ to all that and it is no longer that ordinary to me. Although there is literally nothing left here that refers to the Olympic history this part of the river allegedly has.
We handed over our vouchers to driver/guide J.B. (John Bedwell, but we had to call him J.B.) and paid a bit extra for the optional Scenic World, some sort of sight-seeing tour in the Blue Mountains that we didn’t know of before we hopped on the bus. We all did it because everybody did it and because we felt like “why not”. No complaints though!
Our first stop was Lincoln Rock, where the above picture was taken. Ok, it’s not like Trolltunga in Norway, but I guess you can compare them in a way. A piece of rock in the middle of nature and with an amazing view. “Wow..” is pretty much the only thing I could say. With the weather being very good at the time, the entire view was spectacular.
After that, we went to the Wentworth Falls. We walked from the parking space to the Princes Rock lookout platform on a walkway that had allegedly been walked by Charles Darwin as well. The waterfalls were not as spectacular as we expected, mainly because of a lack of water (and let’s face it, water is kind of an important part of a waterfall). Yet, the view from up here was also stunning. Mount Solitary for example looked amazing.
We stopped for lunch in Leura and then drove on to ‘Scenic World‘. This turned out to be a scenic tour through the Blue Mountains, consisting of a scenic railway, a scenic skyway, a scenic cableway and a scenic walkway. Doing all that, we had a great view of ‘Katoomba Falls’, the ‘Three Sisters‘ and ‘Mount Solitary’. The view was really beautiful, passing some mine shafts along the way to the little train station where we took what is the steepest railway in the world. It’s only 300 meters long, but it is 52° steep… It brought us back to the start and we got back on the bus. “So that was it then”? No, there was more!
On the way back to Sydney, we had a first stop in Lawson, where we got some further information regarding some aboriginal art that had been found here. It depicted a kangaroo that only lives down in the valley but not here as it is too big to get this high. The roo probably had been chased and ran up here before it got killed (hence the spear through its body) and then eaten during some important ceremony. Or at least, that’s what people think happened. The drawing is said to be a couple of thousands of years old…
After this, the minibus drove back to Sydney. Or actually, not really. It drove through Sydney Olympic Park.. My heart started beating a bit faster.. I had seen a beautiful park, a thousand year old aboriginal drawing AND I (quickly) visited the Olympic Park? Awesome day! We didn’t stop in the park though, but just drove through it. I’ll definitely be back here someday, maybe for the Foo Fighters concert in the Olympic stadium (now ANZ Stadium) in February or maybe for the AFC Asian Cup in January, or maybe for both.. We’ll see.
The bus stopped at the ferry platform next to the Olympic Park. We wouldn’t drive back to the city apparently but take the ferry! Again something extra that I didn’t know of when I booked this one day trip. We sailed to the skyline of ‘the harbour city’ and on the way I agreed to have a drink later that evening in Darling Harbour with Kapo, Renske and Daniel-but-you-can-call-me-Danny. Guess my plan to get some rest this weekend wouldn’t last too long..
Back in Sydney I did my laundry (and missed the Darling Harbour fireworks because of that) before I headed to Darling Harbour first and ‘Scubar’ afterwards, as our first choice (‘The Scary Canary’) was closed. At ‘Scubar’, I ran into Vicki, Ben and Scott, three English people I met at surf camp. We arranged to go chilling at Manly Beach today. And how that went is what you’ll read in the next blog! Cheers!