Today (Friday), was our free day. Several of us went up to Katoomba to tour the Blue Mountains. Some others went deep sea fishing, while others went to the beach. I will let the folks who went fishing or to the beach (hopefully not in the same place!) explain their days in their posts they will submit tomorrow, so this post is about the mountains and our experience after...
After a very early (6:15 a.m.) start, we had a nice, scenic 2.5 hour train ride to the lovely little town of Katoomba. This is a charming little mountain town that has its roots in the mining industry.
There are a number of small businesses in the town and their seems to be a real artsy feel to the town.
As you can see, the views are breathtaking (not to mention the height being a little breathtaking as well!)
This is Gordon Falls. The vistas are unreal. When you look down into the forest below, it seems like a different world.
We were able to hike down to near the forest floor and see the waterflow up close. The water is crystal clear and smells very fresh. There were no creatures in the pools anywhere. And the sound of the water was very soothing,
It is hard to imagine the scale here. Even with Lindsey in the foreground, the pictures still just do not do the view or the grand size of these mountains justice. You can see the blue hue in the background - that is why they are called the Blue Mountains. The eucalyptus trees give off a type of fog that, when it picks up and binds with dust in the air and is hit by sumlight, has a blue color to it. Pretty cool to see!
On our way home, it was obvious that we weren't in Potsdam any more... I don't think we have any wild Emus at home!
After we returned, I finally got Prof. MacKinnon to try one of the local favorites, meat pies from a place called "Pie Face". This place is an annual favorite among students - cheap, fast, and tasty. There isn't much in the way of exotic to a meat pie, but they have everything my carnivorous colleague loves in life - meat, pastry, and gravy! I may be on the verge of converting him!!
After indulging in Pie Face, we stopped for another staple indulgence here - gelato. I had a scoop of Belgian Chocolate - it is very rich... and when Prof. MacKinnon took a taste sample, his comment instantly became my favorite of the trip... "This gelato is like a chocolate punch in the face!"
More to follow - stay tuned!