So, another couple of days have gone by, both of which were full of me doing stuff. Wednesday saw me start the day by visiting The Opera House. It's not at all how I imagined and is actually 3 seperate dome-things rather than just a mass of domes. It's also at the top of a rather large amount of steps. I tried capturing just how high up it was in photos, but I'm not sure how well they work.
After seeing that, I headed over the other side of the quay to look at Sydney's origins - The Rocks. So named, because of the large mass of rock the original settlers found that formed a natural barrier to their settlement initially. I failed to find the actual Rocks musuem at first, but instead found an tourist information place. This led me to find a leaflet about a ghost tour that they run around The Rocks late at night which I decided I must go on. I've been in many cities that have had similar, but have always somehow never managed to get myself organised enough.
My initial obstacle was that I'd already booked Thursday for a tour of the Blue Mountains and didn't know what time I'd get back. I figured it'd probably be early enough to go on the ghost tour too, but wasn't sure and the brouchure wasn't giving me any answers. So I decided to book the trip once I'd spoken to the tour guide. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping. I figured my poor battered suitcase was unlikely to survive any more flights, so I thought I'd get a new one. I kinda over did it though and now have a new suitcase that the old one could easily fit in to. Not exactly what I planned, but it'll have to do. The evening was spent in a local cafe with cryx and her friends, drinking coffee and eating cake and generally chatting. Although it didn't last long and people headed home quite early.
Today (Thursday) was the aforementioned trip to the Blue Mountains. The tour guide was very good - witty and informative. He even told us that as a tour guide he was going to lie. So I guess that makes him honest too. We went up into the mountains and took lots of photos of vast open spaces and deep drops. Despite the name, they aren't actually mountains and they're not blue. Apparently they're a dissected plateux. A large shelf of land was raised up 1000s of years ago in one large flat surface and over the years the water has worn away groves that form valleys and stuff. The blueness comes from a similar effect to why the sky is blue - it's the euclyptus trees giving off oily vapours that diffract only the blue part of the light.
Anyway, I wussed out of going on the worlds steepest train and thus missed out on actually going deep into the rainforest. But I did pretty much everything else, like nearly killing myself walking back up from seeing some waterfall. I saw some wild kangeroos. I tried taking photos of them, but the blasted beasts get hiding behind bushes just at the wrong moment. And then at the end of the tour, they dumped us at a ferry point and we got the boat back to Sydney. Which was handy as it was only spitting distance from where the ghost tours started.
I phoned them up only to find they were happy for me to just show up and join in, which was annoying as being in the mountains had drained the mobile almost completely of battery and I needed to call cryx to arrange the evening's plans. Anyway, the ghost tour was suitably spooky. Everyone was given a role to play - I was the assistant undertaker. During his various talks on who died how and where, he'd get the appropriate folk to come up and do stuff. I got to go up twice - first demonstrating how rich people prevented themselves from being buried alive. They got a bell above ground, tied to themselves in their coffins, so if there was a mistake, they could ring the bell. Apparently that's where the origins of "Saved by the bell" and "Deadringer" come from. I also got to demonstrate what the undertaker did whilst collecting the dead...which involved slowly walking down the road, ringing my bell and calling for folk to bring out their dead.
After the tour, I managed to get hold of cryx only to discover that the film plan had been aborted, so instead I've come back to my little dingy hovel to regale you lot with my tales and stuff. Annoying I've discovered that there's a leak somewhere and one corner of the room is now very soggy. Worse, is that it's where I've been keeping my dirty laundry - admittedly in a bag, so the damage is minimal, but still, a few items are now very moist. It's a good job I plan on doing some washing tomorrow, first thing before heading back in to Sydney to look at cute fluffy animals. Hopefully I'll get a better photo of a kangeroo this time.