Blue Mountains in September

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During our time in Australia, we have decided to make an effort to see something new every weekend. It has been a good policy so far and prevents the weekends from being consumed by the minutiae of every day life.

Sydneysiders are very lucky to be surrounded by such natural beauty. The Blue Mountains are less than two hours outside of Sydney. The eponymous blue that bathes the mountains in a bluish haze is supposedly the result of the oil from the eucalyptus trees binding with dust particles in the air. I’m not sure if it’s true, but we were told that 13% of the world’s eucalyptus trees reside in the Blue Mountains.

Spring has reached Sydney, with temperatures rising and plants beginning to bloom. However, it was still quite chilly in the Blue Mountains. The high temperature the day we visited was only around 50 degrees F. (As a sidenote, the reversed seasons in the Southern hemisphere still surprise me. It seems so bizarre for Halloween to be in Spring and Christmas in Summer. For the first time ever, my boys’ birthdays in October and November will be in the Spring, and my daughter’s April birthday will be in the Autumn.)

After some bush walking (i.e. anywhere not in the city or outback), we visited the lovely town of Leura for lunch then went to Scenic World. The aptly-named Scenic World, provides multiple methods for enjoying the scenery–cableway, skyway, railway, and walkways. All the “ways.” For the record, my favorite was the walkway. Boardwalks through an incredibly dense Jurassic rain forest feel very quiet and remote, at least until you run into the hoards of international tourists who arrive by coach at Scenic World. At one point, we came across a bridal party being photographed in the forest.

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The mural above is in Leura.

I had some difficulty taking pictures without boys photo bombing.

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Australian to American Translations

Yes, they speak English in Australia but it is a different kind of English. And they do love their slang. One of the most notable characteristics is the Australian need to shorten EVERYTHING THEY POSSIBLY CAN. I’m talking about brekkie (breakfast), Freshie (Freshwater Beach), barby (barbecue grill, but you knew that), choco (chocolate), Macca’s (McDonald’s), Woolies (Woolworth’s, no relation to the old American one), kindy (kindergarten), tradie (tradesman/woman), chardy (chardonnay), uni (university), footy (Australian rules football), journo (journalist)…the list goes on and on. The only one I can not stand is arvo for afternoon. Ugh, just say afternoon, please.

I’m sure there will be more to add to this list, but here are a few of the new words and phrases I’ve learned so far.

mufti= civilian/non-uniform clothing

bogan= an uncultured person/redneck

jumper=jacket or sweatshirt

sloppy joe jumper=a pull-over style jumper

esky=cooler/ice chest

capsicum=red pepper

zed=the letter Z (also, the word zebra is pronounced to rhyme with Debra)

cakage = The fee some restaurants will charge if you bring your own cake for a party (I think this word is brilliant)

Phrases include:

grannie flat = A separate living accommodation, usually attached to the home or in a separate building in the back of the home.

Good on ya = Great job or well done.

Okay, mate. Enjoy your arvo (shudder).

 

 

 

Bondi to Bronte

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The Bondi to Bronte coastal walk is mentioned by just about everyone who visits Sydney. Unlike some tourist spots, it doesn’t disappoint. Something about the light makes all the colors more intense. The sand looks whiter; the sea and sky look bluer. Part of the trail is still closed due to damage from the super-storm that hit Sydney in June. However, the detour was short and simply took us to a higher road.

We started the day with a stop at a farmer’s market selling a wonderfully diverse array of foods. Midway through the walk, I was suddenly hit with flu-like symptoms which made the remainder of the hike (and weekend) a foggy blur. As a result, I set these photos aside for a few weeks until those memories faded a bit.

Winter Sun

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Today was a gloriously sunny day with highs in the mid 70s. We got ambitious and went to the beach after school. Really, it was too chilly by late afternoon for the beach, but it was fun anyway.

Powerhouse Museum and Fish Market

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Last weekend’s adventure included a visit to the Powerhouse museum and the Sydney Fish Market. The Powerhouse museum was great.

Not everyone was impressed with the fish market.

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Coincidentally, I also visited Tokyo’s fish market last October.

Here is the Tokyo fish market. It was much largerĀ  than Sydney’s fish market and possibly smellier. But, in both cases, many, many fish. Now that I have been to the largest fish markets in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, I feel like I can conclude my accidental fish market world tour.

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