Oz: Blue Mountains, Melbourne

It’s been a while since I’ve written and we’ve been busy exploring quite a few things. For one thing, we took a trip to Bondi Beach, which is basically this sandy beach that many surfers and swimmers like to go to. We went on a slightly rainy day, though, so it wasn’t particularly impressive. Also, I’m not a surfer or a swimmer. I was hungry for pizza, but since a regularl pizza Margherita started at maybe 18$, we just had an Oreo McFlurry and had a bigger dinner later. We explored everything, walked around, watched the surfers for a while and then took the bus back.

One day we also went to Featherdale Wildlife Park. For that, you have to take a train from Sydney to Blacktown, which takes maybe an hour but it’s fairly cheap, and then you take a bus directly to Featherdale Park. The park seems a bit more provincial than the Sydney Wildlife World equivalent, but the big advantage is that wallbys hop around free and you can go pet them, and there’s also a koala sitting on a separate tree for visitors to pet him and take photos with him at no extra charge. From what I’ve heard, that’s a big advantage. The koalas are mighty cute, I have to admit. But I also really liked the wombats. Sadly, it appears they bite and so they don’t walk around freely and you can’t just pet them. Other animals they had there were emus, penguins, echidnae, flying foxes, dingoes, cassowary and a lot of birs that were sometimes hard to see through their cages. All in all, I think Featherdale is well worth a visit, if only for getting to cuddle a wallaby.

Also this week we got on a train to Katoomba to see the Blue Mountains, which was nice and gave me a lot of sore muscles. The trainride there takes 2 hours and then you can walk to Echo Point, from where you have a great view over the Blue Mountains (they did seem rather green though) and the Three Sisters, a famous rock formation. There’s also a Giant Stairway with about 900 steps that leads from the very top, past the Three Sisters, down to the bottom of the forest. It’s amazing how tiring it is, even to just go down. Many people go down, look around (there’s not much to see) and turn around and go back up. But we didn’t. We walked along the ground for quite a while and then took a little railway car back up, that goes at a very steep angle. It’s pretty neat and worth the 10$ (well, I certainly preferred it over going all the way back to the Giant Staircase and climbing those 900 steps again). We went past the Katoomba Falls on our way back and then went back to the train station in Katoomba, and I was pretty exhausted when we got there. Two hours back, and then we barely managed to make it to dinner at 8pm. An exhausting but nice trip indeed.

So that’s what we’ve been up to.

Meanwhile we have moved to Melbourne into a hostel that is so loud that we didn’t even hear a truck fall over directly outside of our window. We only woke up wondering about the construction site noise only to find the turned over truck trailer outside. It fell directly on the tram tracks.

Melbourne is not as exciting as Sydney, not as pretty. But we did go to the police museum, which was not only free, but also really cool. Now I know more about Ned Kelly who some think of as a hero when really he was just a rather cruel criminal. And in Melbourne, there is free wifi on Federation Square, that makes me like it more, too. :)

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