Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sydney's Blue Mountains at Katoomba

The cheap flights to Sydney are very early in the morning, so we had to get up before 3:00am to make it to the airport on time. Then, with the time difference, you arrive about the same time as you left, so your internal clock is confused. We took the train at the airport out to the Blue Mountains, but unfortunately there was track work that weekend so we had to transfer to a bus for the last leg of the journey. Once in the town of Katoomba (the biggest tourist spot at the Blue Mountains), we walked the short ways to Echo Point to view The Three Sisters rock formation which was lovely, then walked about a mile and a half to the downtown area to get dinner. We got caught in a thunderstorm and had to wait underneath an eave while lightning displayed above and thunder pounded and rain poured -- some of us were more enthused than others about that scenario!

The next day we went to Scenic World, which is the easiest way to explore the rainforest down in the valley of the Blue Mountains. It has the steepest railway in the world (52-degree angle), along with two cable cars: one that goes into the rainforest and one that goes across the valley and has a glass-bottom floor! The train ride down was pretty scary because it is so steep you feel like you're going straight down, but it was fun. It's like a roller coaster but without the drop. The area used to be a big coal mine, and the miners had it a lot worse back in the day when they took that trip in a dinky mine car. Taking the train back up was actually scarier I think, because you feel like your body is falling the wrong way and it feels very weird.

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