Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 21 - The Blue Mountains and Katoomba

March 7th – The Blue Mountains & Katoomba This morning we all woke up and ventured to The Blue Mountains – the whole crew went including Carolyn, Julia, Mitchell, & Anthony – as this was going to be our last day on vacation (sob). The Blue Mountains are about 1 ½ hours west of Sydney. We started our tour by visiting Echo Point in Katoomba. Here we could see great views of the Three Sisters and across the Jamison Valley. We did the “bushwalk” to the base of the Three Sisters – very steep stairs but beautiful view! Here are some pictures from both vantage points.

We then had a wonderful picnic compliments of Carolyn and headed over to Scenic World where we took the steepest incline railway in the world down to the rainforest floor. It was a 415 meter descent straight down through a cliff side tunnel (the coal miners built this railway back in the day but now it is used for tourists). Below is one of my favorite pictures – we were about to take the railway down - you can just barely see Anthony’s eyes but you can tell he is excited/scared! Here is also a picture on the way down – you can kind of tell how steep the incline is. And finally a picture of the boys on a model of the railway at the bottom.

We then walked about 2 km through the ancient rainforest and took the cableway back up to the top. At the bottom we learned a lot about the coal miners who mined the area - very tough life and a lot of deaths.

Great scenery and bushwalking – if you have time I definitely suggest going to the Blue Mountains! You can even get there by train from Sydney if you don’t want to rent a car.

Our day ended with a home cooked meal compliments of Peter – I am so upset we are leaving tomorrow –I can’t believe the 3 weeks ended so soon! Tomorrow we head home on the flight schedule from hell! We fly 10 hours from Sydney to Seoul, spend the night in Seoul, fly 12 hours to Seattle, have an 11 hour layover in Seattle, fly to JFK, then finally fly home to Raleigh where we will get home around noon on Monday March 10th. We hope to change this so stay tuned!

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