Blue Mountains

A two hour train ride west of Sydney takes you into the Blue Mountains, the name coming from a somewhat contentious claim that suspended particles of Eucalyptus oil creates a bluish haze. It is beautiful, nonetheless, a World Heritage Site, and today much of it is shrouded in clouds and mist.

Our Sydney trip so far has been, at the risk of hyperbole, fantastic. The Royal Botanic Gardens are meticulously-kept and impressive in both its sheer size and breadth of variety. Manly, Bondi (BON-dye) Beach, Harbour Bridge, the museums, all world-class. The public transportation infrastructure is comprehensive, punctual, and serves the general public and not just the lower castes. The Sydney Opera House is impressive of course, but moreso at a distance; the closer you get the more you notice the otherwise sweeping and timeless rooftop structure is encased on both ends in vintage not-so-timeless 1970's dark smoked glass, and sits on a foundation that was clearly was not the recipient of the kind of genius that designed the top.

And a can of coke, no matter where you are, starts at $3.50. If the people of Sydney even entertained the concept of a 64 oz Big Gulp, it would cost almost twenty bucks.

The photo below is of the Blue Mountain range with the Three Sisters on the left, turned to stone by their Father in order to protect them from invaders, but his unexpected demise prevented him from undoing the spell. Or so goes the aboriginal tale. The range is vast, tropical, with large white birds flying everywhere that resemble parrots with orange flourishes on their heads. Waterfalls with hundreds of meters of drop, hidden coves, the whole thing sort of magical.

Tomorrow we head to Melbourne, and rendezvous with Caroline and Master Liam.