The Blue Mountains
On Sunday, my parents and I decided to see more than just the city or the beach, and headed out to the great western mountain range called The Blue Mountains. The mountains aren’t actually blue, but they are covered in over 150 different species of eucalyptus, whose leaves emit a vapor when the sun heats them that turns blue. So the mountains themselves are actually quite green, smothered with a decidedly blue haze.
In order to cover the major highlights in a short amount of time (and because the idea of driving twisty mountain roads wasn’t very appealing to me), we opted for a day tour with Oz Trails, chosen mainly because it seemed to offer the most for the money and was recommended by Lonely Planet, who usually know a thing or two about these things. Our full itinerary looked daunting for one day, but we did manage to get it all in.
We started off by driving all over Sydney picking up various tourists (we had the bad luck of being the very first people picked up thanks to our location at the beach), then hit the road to head West.
The first notable stop was what I believe they called Scenic World, which is basically a couple of cable cars/gondolas and the the worlds steepest railway, originally designed to get coal up a 52 degree incline, now used to scare tourists in the thousands on a daily basis.
The day included a good deal of very easy hiking, a few waterfalls, and this cliff, which the Australian Government is crazy enough to let people go to without feeling the need to protect people from their own idiocy by installing a fence or net of any sort.
We ended the day with a river cruise down the Parramatta back into the city. Seeing any city from its waterways is always an amazing experience, and Sydney is no exception. Having become familiar enough with the roads and land, it was like seeing the city and suburbs for the first time all over again. And of course, I failed to take even one picture. Maybe because dad and I were knocking them back.