Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sydney and Christmas in Katoomba

Sydney Opera House

Echo Point, lookout of the 3 Sisters and Jamison Valley

Me, Nikki and her brother Scoot walking in the Jamison Valley

After a 10 hour overnight bus ride I was fianlly in Sydney. I'd arrived a bit early so I slept on the floor of the greyhound terminal waiting for my friend Emma to come pick me up. She came, we hugged, drank coffee, got accosted by a tramp after our money, then got the train over to Nikki's where I slept and showered. Nikki, Emma and all of their housemates were in this installation piece down in the Rocks that evening, so I got a lift in and wandered round, taking in the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and some light festival entertainment such as Zumba Fitness, Silent Disco and 2 teenage boys playing Billy Jean on the flute, which was lovely.

The next day Nikki took me into the city where we had sandwiches in Hyde Park before seeing the cathedral, the city art gallery, the David Jones Christmas windows, and the QVB. On the way to picking Emma up for Christmas Eve festivities, we got baking supplies. Nikki planned on making truffles and I wanted to make some shortbread biscuits. We got Emma and her little bunny and went back to Nikki's where we had dinner whilst watching the Aussie classic, The Castle and started baking round about 10. To my astonishment, there were no scales so I devised a rough estimate of the ingredients using a pen on the packets. They worked out fine with a little teasing, and thus we had around 50 shortbread biscuits. We still haven't eaten them all.

The next morning Nikki made blueberry pancakes. I got a call from my mother to wish me happy Christmas , which was lovely, because it was still their Christmas Eve and they were all rather inebriated. Bless. We packed and got ready then set off for Glenbrook to see Nikki's family for Christmas lunch. Coming into the Blue Mountains, I felt I was beginning to fall in love with Australia. We got to Glenbrook andhad a lovely lunch with Nikki's family (her Gran even bought me some Ferrero Rochers) and ended up having a bit of a bushwalk, even spotting a pregnant skink. Around 5, Nikki drove over to Katoomba where we stayed at Bob and Sue's place (family friends also there at lunch) along with Nikki's dad and brother. Enjoying the view of the Blue Mountains we talked and ate a bit, then Sue demanded we watch Fargo as the majority of us hadn't seen it. Then off to bed, wearing clothes from the ragbag Nikki's friend had left in the boot of her car.

The next morning, Nikki and her brother and dad and I went to Scenic World and saw Echo Point, the 3 Sisters, and the Jamison Valley. We went down on this little train which was incredibly steep, proclaiming itself the steepest railway in the world, then we walked round the Valley and went back up in the gondala. We met Bob and Sue for lunch in the Common Ground Cafe run by a little sect in the community that are Christian but don't believe in Jesus and are more or less communists. Well, anyway, they make nice food. Overall, Katoomba was pretty wonderful; a small town in the heart of the stunning Blue Mountains with a good deal to see and do.

Then we drove back to Sydney which seemed rather smelly after all that tropical fresh air. But we didn't stay long.

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