Sydney, Australia

                                                                       Sydney Opera House

February 25-26, 2012

Sydney, Austalia.  A place we looked forward to revisiting.  The sail-in was spectacular, as it was before.  On the first day we did not have an excursion, so we chose to go exploring.  In the morning we walked around Darling Harbor, where we were docked this visit.  We walked over to the shopping mall and back, and when we thought about stopping for lunch at a brewpub, we discovered how very expensive everything is in Sydney.  Lunch on the ship suddenly sounded very attractive…

After lunch we walked over to the street with yarn shops and bought some yarn.  While in the yarn shop we asked about local breweries, and the clerk directed us to Hart’s Pub, where we stopped to have a beer and rest our tired legs.  Hart’s Pub turned out to be a very enjoyable stop.

We were in Sydney overnight, and had scheduled an excursion for the second day.  The tour was called ‘Discover the Blue Mountains’.  The Blue Mountains are another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was a long bus ride out there so we had a stop at a town called Leura, apparently a typical Blue Mountain area town, where we could explore a little.  Given that we were there fairly early on a Sunday morning, not much was open, but we did find a nice little shop where we could get out of the rain and have a snack.

From Leura we drove through rain forest out to Echo Point, to view the Three Sisters rocks.  The legend is that the rocks are three daughters who disobeyed their father and he turned them into stone to protect them from a monster.  Echo Point also is a great place to view the huge canyon from above.

From Echo Point we drove over to Scenic World, the point where we would be able to travel down into the canyon and get a close view of the rainforest.  We boarded the world’s steepest railway, which goes down into the canyon at a 52° angle - VERY steep.  

We spent some time walking around in the rainforest in the canyon.  The trees and other plants are very interesting.  One very common tree is the tree fern, and the ones we saw were 20-30 feet tall.  There is an old mine down there, with a display of old mining tools.  When you are done exploring you take the cable car back up to the top of the canyon.

When we got back to the top it was time for lunch in the revolving restaurant.  Lunch was a buffet that included a pretty good variety of foods.  After lunch we walked around outside for a while, enjoying the view before returning to the bus for the ride back to the ship.

There was one real annoyance on this trip: on the way back to the ship we were supposed to have a photo op on the Coat Hanger bridge, but our guide received a call telling her that we had to be back at the ship in time for the boat drill, so we had to skip that stop.  Apart from that it was a wonderful trip.  We would like to return to the Blue Mountains on our own so we can wander in the rainforest at our leisure.

As you can see from the photos (check out the shoe album), the sail-away was was beautiful.  Hopefully we will be able to visit Sydney again.

                                                                 Coat Hanger Bridge

© Susan L. Stone 2015