Blue Mountains - Day 11

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December 30th 2015
Published: January 20th 2016
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It's another early morning and today we are taking the train to the Blue Mountains which is about 2 hours away. The Mountains appear blue because of the hue given of by the eucalyptus trees which hangs in the air. We arrived at a little station called Katoomba which is 3336 ft above sea level and reminds me of the a setting from the TV program 'Little house on the Prairie'. It is so quaint and looks like a 19th century American West station scene. We jump in a taxi and make our way over to Scenic World which was once a coal mining area.

Being hilly they created the world's steepest railway initially to bring the coal to flatter land for transportation. The colliery workers began supplementing their income by building a purpose built 12-passenger car named Jessie and carried passengers on weekends and public holidays for sixpence a ride. One day a jeep load of Americans piled up and asked where the steep railway was only to be told that it only operated at weekends. 'Goldarn it, we drove all the way from Sydney for a ride out that thing and it's closed'. This planted a seed of thought for a potential tourist attraction so when the mines closed after the Second World War, it was opened officially as a tourist attraction.

Since then the attraction has grown to include Australia's longest elevated boardwalk amongst the ancient rainforest, a cableway to return you from the Jamison Valley and Australia's highest cable car between cliff tops over the Jamison Valley.We enjoyed the railway, the boardwalk and the return cableway but the queues for the cable car were taking too long as it was peak holiday time and they were having 'technical problems'. It occurred to us that the Scenic world experience is at risk of representing a Disney experience complete with the queues and tourist shops and they even planning a roller coaster! Whereas all we really needed was picnic and to walk some of the endless trails in the simply stunning rainforest. We know better for next time but I wonder if there will be a next time.

!We decided to leave and walk back to the station and stop at some viewing spots on the way. We take a paddle in the stream and a stop in the park where Martin could feed some very tame cockatoos! The train journey home was an experience itself thanks to the views gained from the second floor, like the views that the top floor of a bus gives you and we started to get a feel of the scale of this country.

We got home and make a concerted effort not to sit down. We still hadn"t experience the Darling Harbour fish platter so we shower and change and make our way to a popular restaurant and treat ourselves to lobster with all the trimmings! Delicious! This is amazing Martin observes as he soaks up the atmosphere and asks Melissa, why do you want to come home?

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