Roos and stuff

Trip Start Nov 17, 2008
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Trip End Jan 17, 2009


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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, November 28, 2008

On Wednesday morning, we set off for an excursion to the Blue Mountains, which are about an hour and a half to the north of Central Sydney. We had quite a few stops, including at the Sydney Olympic Complex and a boomerang throwing demonstration. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to try our hand at throwing but we both bought a boomerang, carved and decorated by aboriginal artists. We then went to a wildlife park, where we had the chance to hold a 9-month-old kangaroo (cute!), take a pic with lazy koalas and feed lots of kangaroos- unique experience really. Roos are not particularly intelligent or sociable animals (they don't really appreciate being  touched by welll-meaning humans unless there is food involved) but they are impressive, enduring in adverse climates and really fun to watch hopping around.  
Leaving the animal park, we went up in the mountains and stopped at a breath-taking huge valley, where we were supposed to see the 'Three Sisters', three tall striking rock formations standing next to each other. Legend has it that the three sisters were chased by someone, and their father, in order to save them, turned them into stone. Unfortunately, a huge persistent cloud had come down in the valley and we weren't able to catch a glimpse. Thomas did however come close to a really nice, a bit scary looking aboriginal who played the didgeridoo. After leaving the cloudy valley, we crossed another valley with a beautiful waterfall on a glass bottomed cable car (vertigo). After getting to the other side, we took a train down the steepest track in the world (amazing!) and came down to a mine in the middle of a beautiful forest that gave many opportunities for good snaps. We then took another cable car up and made our way to Sydney by sea this time- a catamaran took us for a journey through beautiful Sydney neighborhoods, situated in consecutive bays full of sailing boats. This view made us both think how great it'd be to live in Sydney.
 
After landing at Circular Quay, we made our way to the Rocks, a previously dodgy, now posh and picturesque beautiful suburb nearby. There we had dinner at the Australian Hotel. This was recommended to us a classic pub- hotel, dating back to the 1910's, with a specialty in kangaroo pizza. And indeed it was delicious! 

We finished the day with a drink at a posh bar on the Harbour opposite the opera. It's worth mentioning, that everyone there was either in suits or expensive dresses, and we were in our backpacking outfits. We were quite a sight!
 
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Due to a weather forecast warning us about storms, we decided to sleep in and have a chilled Thursday. Indeed we woke up after noon, only to go out and see a bright blue sky with no clouds in sight. Not to lose our cool for wasting a good beach day, after having lunch in Chinatown (Mina did, Thomas had a sandwich afterwards), we decided to cross the Harbour bridge and go to Northern Sydney, where we wandered in a pretty, more resident-friendly area with a beautiful view to the Opera, the Bridge, the city and dozens of sailing boats. We hanged out there for a bit and had coffee and dinner before heading back to the city to watch the much awaited Baz Luhrman's Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The film is a three hour epic about the Australian outback before and during WWII. We really enjoyed it and both thought that Australia made more sense to watch... well... in Australia.
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