- 8 July 2001 -

Dinner at RiÁk's.
(photo by Kat)

Bek, RiÁk, and myself, enjoying RiÁk's famous salsa pizzas! 

(I was *so* zonked when that picture was taken; I hadn't slept for 37 hours by that time 8} )

Sydney and Katoomba

- 9 July 2001 -

Breakfast at RiÁk's.
(photo by Kat)

Two well-groomed individuals and... something very, very terrifying: Yansa with morning-hair!


Nothing particularly Australian is shown in this picture... although I did try Vegemite that morning, and I liked it! 

Vegemite has to be applied in *very small* amounts, however -- Americans often glob it on like margarine, and they get sick, because that's not how it's supposed to be done.

Lunch in Katoomba.
(photo by Bek)

Yansa, Kat, and RiÁk having a picnic in 45 degree weather in Katoomba. 

It was after this picnic that I got to try a cool Australian snack food... Burger Rings! They look like our Funyuns onion-flavored snacks, but they're not onion-flavored. They're not burger-flavored, either. Their flavor is... vaguely chickenish, but pretty much indescribable. And good, too. I like 'em. :) 

And if you're curious what scenery we saw from our picnic spot, check out the next picture...

Yansa, and nifty Australian scenery.
(photo by Kat)

Notice the cliffs in the far distance. The foliage on said cliffs are eucalyptus and gum trees.

Very Australian. :)

It also looks very tropical... it was strange being in a setting that looked so tropical, while I was experiencing typical Oregon-style winter weather. 

We were in the Blue Mountains, which aren't technically mountains; they're a plateau. Hence the plateauish scenery in the background. 

(And yeah, I know 45 isn't cold enough for gloves... uh... I was following local customs, yeah, that's it... um, it felt a lot colder in Celsius? ;) )

Kat, Yansa, and nifty Australian scenery.
(photo by RiÁk?)

This was Kat and myself after climbing down a spooky narrow staircase with cliffs on both sides of it, on the way to one of the Three Sisters. It was... spooky. Our smiles are genuine smiles of relief that we didn't have to do any more of that sort of thing ;)

Australia has Three Sisters, just like Oregon has Three Sisters. Oregon's are cool and scenic 10,000' mountains. Australia's are cool and scenic ~100' rock formations. The local native legends explaining their existence, however, are strikingly similar.

The aforementioned staircase.
(photo by Kat)

RiÁk is the person in the blue shirt and long black coat. Where he's standing, you can see cliffs on three sides of you. Like I said... spooky. :}

You had to climb up stairs for a while, and then climb back down to get to one of the Three Sisters.

Yansa and RiÁk beneath one of the Three Sisters.
(photo by Kat)

You can actually walk down to one of the Three Sisters, and RiÁk, Kat, Bek, and I did just that. I didn't quite know it would involve creepy narrow staircases, though. But the view along the way was amazing.

There was another path that led down into the valley below, but it took an hour to hike, and it promised more spooky stairs. Bek told us all about it, and we decided to pass. (RiÁk, Kat, and I were already worn out :} ) 

RiÁk, creepy koala, Yansa.
(photo by Kat)

The koala is creepy because it has golf balls for eyes.

This was in a souvenir shop near the Katoomba Scenic Railway... the steepest railway in the world (it's in the Guinness Book of World Records!) RiÁk and I actually took the railway. It was interesting and educational ;) 

Kat, Bek, and Yansa at the Three Sisters statue, in Katoomba.
(photo by RiÁk)

The statue behind us had *three* sisters (one was to the right of the picture). Beneath the aforementioned third sister, there was a button to activate the storytelling function of the fountain. The fountain related the legend behind the creation of the Three Sisters rock formation, and animated it with various splashes from the fountain. It was quite kitschy. We had to get a picture. ;)   

Text written 17 August 2001.
Last updated 19 January 2006.