Friday September 21 - Tuesday September 25, 2007
09.22.2007 - 09.25.2007 0 °F
Back to the comforts of home with Kylie and Tim (this is the good life, honestly, and I'm getting too used to it). We spent one day milling about Sydney and went to a local Rugby Union match, which was fun. Sydney dominated over the Gold Coast, of course.
Monday morning, Ellen and I took a train ride west from Sydney out to Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains. We spent the afternoon hiking and saw the famous Three Sisters. Supposedly there are seven, but I don't know what happened to the other four. Maybe one stole the other's boyfriend and caused a family rift. No, really though, they are very signficant to the Aboriginal population. "The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo' lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle. As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come." Bummer. Still don't know where the other four went... but they are each over 900 meters high.
The hike took us over three hours total, and we didn't even do all of it, because my legs were jelly at that point. We did, however, descend the Giant Staircase, with 900 steps in it, basically straight down the side of the the Three Sisters. It was at this point that my legs became (and stayed) gelatinous.
Back in Sydney today (tuesday) and am taking the Schotts out to dinner as a thank you and farewell gesture. I owe them much and will miss them all terribly. I am extremely lucky to have such wonderful friends. I hope they will come back for a visit one day so I can extend the same hospitality that they have shown me.
Next stop: China! Goodbye comforts of home!