Monday, May 21, 2007

Best Southern Hemisphere Adventure, Day 7

First of all, in Australia, some of the apartment buildings have weird names or maybe they just don't know anything about Spanish.

So, last Tuesday I decided to take an adventure. I took a train two hours west of Sydney to a place called the Blue Mountains. They are called the Blue Mountains because of the mist given off by all the eucalyptus trees. This fact is always the first fact you encounter when reading information on the Blue Mountains.

The thing they're proudest about at the Blue Mountains are these rock formations called the Three Sisters. (this is just an artist's representation)

Also, it seems they're concerned about alien invaders.

Upon my arrival I ate my first (and only) meat pie.

For some reason I thought a meat pie would be a little pie stuffed full of ground beef. Duh. It's just a meat pot pie. Without vegetables.

Shortly after beginning my Blue Mountain adventure I encountered these statues which I suppose have to do with a legend involving the Three Sisters because here we see three naked ladies and a scary naked Aboriginal man.

And here we see the Blue Mountains themselves (be prepared for plenty of vista photos not too different from this one).

Something I did not ride: the skytram (or whatever)

Although these pictures may look pretty sedate to you, trust me, I was hiking myself to oblivion.

And these are those famous Three Sisters we've all heard so much about.

There was this thing called the Giant Stairway which was a giant stairway that a park ranger carved out himself many, many years ago that is super steep and goes down forever. I walked down it for only a little way to get to the middle of one of the sisters. I think the rest of the staircase was a challenge that me and my leg aren't up to. Choose your battles, you know?

Eventually I felt I had seen enough of everything and walked up and down enough paths and staircases so I caught a train home from an old timey train station.

That night Jeff and I did some serious internet research and went to this restaurant called Billy Kwong in the Surry Hills section of Sydney. Its North American claim to fame is that NY Times food critic RW Apple listed it amongst his restaurants worth flying to in an article filed shortly before his death. I consider that a pretty strong recommendation. Anyway, our dinner was definitely not to be messed with. The restaurant itself was interesting, smallish, fairly casual but bustling and full of fashionable people sitting on little stools but paying prices that you'd think would warrant armchairs. But I definitely recommend a visit to Billy's should you be in the neighborhood and should your wallet be feeling confident. Let me show you three of our four meal items:

Crispy shrimp-stuffed wontons with sweet chili sauce. (monstrously delicious)

Crispy orange duck. (almost offensively delicious, and the mandarin orange slices served with the animal put most of the fruit eaten in my past to shame. the sticks were just okay, though.)

These noodles. Errr. I wish I remember the fancy way to describe them. But they were something else indeed.

Not pictured: really, really, really good green beans. It was nice to get down with a vegetable and fruit intensive meal.


JayMoo and Stephoin said...

I never found out if you read/watched about anything involving picnic at hanging rock. Did you? Did you go?

Brig said...

Sadly I didn't make it. Hanging Rock is in Victoria, which was outside of my hood. My visit to Australia was extremely Sydneycentric.