Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blue Mountains Trip - Day 3 Morning - Pancakes, Sublime Point and Katoomba Cascades

Adam avoids pancakes:

Day 1 - Sydney, Wicked and Purikura
Day 2 Morning  - Leura Cascades and The Three Sisters
Day 2 Afternoon - Leura, The Red Door and Govett's Leap

We had another sound sleep in our beautiful cottage after the busy Thursday. Friday morning was a matter of getting up and packing the car - our time in the accommodation was over. It was a great location and nice place - we'd definitely consider coming back here again.

Elissa always wants to go to the Pancake Parlour when she sees one, but I rarely take her as I don't like pancakes very much. I lost the battle in Katoomba, and breakfast was at the Pancake Parlour. Fortunately, I had eaten Jayde and Jewel's left over Korean dinner for breakfast in anticipation, so when we ordered breakfast, I only grabbed a drink. We had fun playing Uno and Connect 4 whilst we waited for breakfast - some of the several games they supply for customers who are waiting.

We then drove out to Sublime Point -one of the Blue Mountains lookouts on the 1015 Things to See And Do In Australia. There were lots of beautiful gardens all in bloom along the way, with sublime point at the end of a stretch of land, with houses featuring gardens  on the cliff edges on either side of the road. Sublime point itself gave a great 270+ degree view of the Megalong Valley.

Next we went tot"The Gingerbread House. It's an old church that has been turned into a gingerbread themed store and cafeteria - the interior of the Church featuring the walls of a "gingerbread house" inside making up the walls of the store. We all had some of their gourmet ice creams

Next, we went over to the Katoomba Cascades. We had originally planned on doing Scenic World whilst in Katoomba, but we'd checked the prices the previous day, and it just too much. You used to be able to pay to go on the different parts separately - eg the Cableway, the Skyway or the Train, but now, you can only get a single ticket and have to pay to go on them all. To make it even more expensive, a family ticket would only cover us and two of the kids, with both Jayde and Minori costing extra at almost full adult rates, meaning it would have cost us almost $160 for entry. So, instead it was off to the Katoomba Cascades.

Firstly a quick interlude whilst Elissa dealt with a work phone call, which allowed the kids to play with a dog in the park above the falls. Then, it was down a newly installed track to the cascades.

The area had all been done up since our last visit here with the Woodwell family back in 2007, and after Christmas in 2008 .... looks like my photography has slightly improved in that time though.

Katoomba Cascades - Apr 2007 with the Woodwells

Katoomba Cascades - Dec 2008 Post Chrsitmas Holiday
Katoomba Cascades - Oct 2014 School Holidays

The kids had fun climbing up into the cascades itself, even if they did give their parents a few anxious moments as they traversed the wet and slippery rockface.

I'll leave the rest of the Friday and our trip home via the Jenolan Caves to another post.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blue Mountains Trip - Day 2 Afternoon - Leura, The Red Door and Govett's Leap

Adam dines:

The write up of the Thursday morning's activities was posted previously - this post is just the second half of the day. After the Three Sisters, we headed off to Leura for lunch. The town was looking very beautiful with most of the trees and plants lining the streets in full blossom.

We spent a little while looking through an array of stores - old toy shops, clothing, vintage wares. Everybody had fun in a woodcraft store eyeing off the wooden wombats they had, which would have made there way home with us if they hadn't been so expensive.

We decided on a cafe for lunch called The Red Door. It turned out to be a good selection. Our couple of days in the Blue Mountains featured lots of awesome experiences, but eating at The Red Door was nominated as the favourite experience by a couple of kids. We were treated to an array of simply delicous meals that included:

  • Zucchini and Feta fritters with cumin yoghurt and mesclun salad
  • Tuscan style sausages with creamy mashed potato and caramelized onion and red wine jus
  • Crispy Skin Salmon with braised leeks, tomatoes and saffron relish
  • Chicken, avocado, chilli jam and baby spinach toasted Turkish sandwich
  • Bacon and egg baguette with cheese and tomato relish
  • Hominy bakery Croissant with ham, cheese and tomato
See if you can match up the above lunch orders with the relevant family member who ordered it. I will help by quoting one of the kids as saying that the sausages "were the best sausages I've ever tasted."

Next there was more shopping, including the kids enjoying vintage clothing stores. Seth liked great in various (expensive) leather jackets, and ended up buying himself a pair of sunglasses at one store. We also ended up at the Leura Candy Store. We bought up a collection of cinnamon lollies, cheap American breakfast cereals and a packet of chocolate pasta (designed to be cooked and served with ice cream.)

Then it was up to Josophan's Fine Chocolates for a selection of gourmet chocolate flavours such as Strawberry & Balsamic, Mango & Chilli and Basil & Lime.

There was an Open Garden's festival on in Leura, and we thought we might check out a few. We drove past the Whale Garden ...

... and then went down to the Toy & Railway Museum at Leuralla. We had thought to maybe check this out which also was meant to have great gardens, but the entry fees were overpriced. It was going to cost us over $60 in entry fees for the family ... we didn't want to see it that badly.

We took the Cliff Drive out of Katoomba and headed up to Blackheath where we went and checked out Govett's Leap. We were too tired to do any long treks, and the Bridal Veil Falls were very small - I don't think there had been a lot of rain recently, so our journey didn't get further than the lookout.

Govett's Leap - 4 photo panoramic stitch. Click to enlarge.

Heading back towards Katoomba, Elissa and I went looking for Possum's Hideaway, the place where we spent our Honeymoon so many years ago. We eventually found the location and had a quick look around. Elissa even tried the office to find out prices, but no-one was about.

We drove back to Katoomba, did a quick search for somewhere to eat, and went home for a quick relax until the restaurant's opened. We ended up going to Sanwiye Korean Cafe. Again, absolutely delicious food, and huge servings. To top it all off, they had a Korean cinnamon drink that several of us fell in love with. The serves were that big that we ended up taking half of Jayde's and Jewel's dinners home with us.

We finished dinner in time to head back down to Echo Point around sunset. I tried taking a few photos but wasn't overly happy with what I got. I'd wanted to do some Auto Exposure Bracketing, but realised I hadn't taught myself how to use the function since getting my new camera last year. With the light changing quickly, I had little time to try and work it out. Oh well. Still got some OK shots.

Afterwards, we headed back to the house and played a game of Seven Wonders that we'd brought with us from home. It was a busy, tiring and awesome day.