2019 HAL World Cruise
Tuesday-Wednesday, March 5-6, 2019
Sydney is a wonderful city to visit. It is a large city; yet, compact and easy to navigate. We have been coming to Sydney pretty regularly since 2010 and always find that we run out of time long before we run out of things we want to see or do! On this stop, we decided to go up to Blue Mountains on day 1. We had not seen the area and figured this was the year! (If you’d like, go check out the blog of February 2018 for more on the city of Sydney.)
The Blue Mountains are special. They are covered with vast forests of eucalyptus trees. These trees emit tiny droplets of oil that mix with water vapor and sunlight to produce a blue haze. Thus, the Blue Mountains!!!! This optical phenomenon is called “Rayleigh scattering”.
Blue Mountains is a two-hour train ride (aprx. $16.00/pp/rt) from Sydney’s Central Station to Katoomba. There, a local HOHO will take you up and down the hills to view the scenery and partake of the attractions such as: a glass floored cable car, the world’s steepest incline passenger railway, the Jenolan Caves, or an Aboriginal Walkabout tour!
We departed Central Station with no set plan; figured we’d arrive in Katoomba around lunchtime, and afterwards we’d explore the town and take the HOHO tour. Good plan, poor execution on our part. We stopped at the Carrington Hotel for lunch. This is a beautiful hotel from the 1880s. We sat on the veranda with our afternoon libations and enjoyed a tasty lunch; we toured the hotel complex; chatted with folks; and promptly ran out of time!!!! With only a couple of hours left until our planned return to Sydney, we quickly toured the town (a very hilly town!) before soothing our tired feet on the two-hour return journey. We vowed to come back! There is so much more to see. Here are the photos for Day 1:
On Day 2, our only plan was to shop at the David Jones Department Store Foodhall and then have a nice lunch at the Metro St. James Café in Hyde Park. David Jones is my favorite store in Sydney. There are, of course, many wonderful places to shop in the city: Westfield, the Queen Victoria Building, The Strand, Pitt Street Pedestrian Mall, the Rocks area and oodles of charming boutiques! But David Jones has everything I’m looking for today! This Australian chain was begun in 1838 by David Jones, a Welsh merchant and future Australian politician, and it is the oldest continuously operating department store in the world still operating under its original name. However, it was purchased by the South African retail group Woolworths Holdings Limited in 2014! We are obviously living in a Global Economy!!!!!
Now, we are on our way to Townsville, Australia.