2 days, approximately 400 pictures and more than 25 kilometres further, I’m sitting here again to describe my amazing time in Australia. And this weekend was honestly, breath taking amazing. It felt great to get out of the city and be able to inhale some real and pure oxygen again. Only able to hear the beautiful symphony of nature instead of a disturbing, never-ending traffic rush. I feel refreshed and full of energy again, even though these days were very active and tyring.
It is Saturday morning and the disturbing sound of my alarm wakes me up at 6:00 a.m. But, no time for snoozing because today some friends and I planned a trip to the Blue Mountains National Park. The Blue Mountains are part of the greater Sydney Basin, which consists out of layers of sedimentary rocks that were able to built up over a time period of 300 million years. After packing all my necessities we head to the train station and set off to Katoomba. Here we take another bus that brings us to Echo Point. When arriving, we are welcomed by a beautiful view on The Three Sisters and an orchestra of birds and crickets.
Inside the information centre we ask for a route and finally start the walk by going to the Leura Cascades. The route along the cliffs provides beautiful views on the forest below and takes you through a whole new world. At the Cascades we have a quick lunch break and then walk back for a little bit to take the Federal Pass Walking Track. This route goes all the way down the cliffs and takes you a little further into the forest. The nature changes constantly around you, from rock formations into pure and dense forest areas. The path is adventurous with many steps, steeps, hills and stairs, but was definitely doable. Along the way you walk by different waterfalls or lookout points where we took our time to take some amazing pictures. As the three musketeers we make our way, talking, laughing and even singing, to The Three Sisters. We have another break at a small waterfall and take a moment to fully appreciate the grace and refinement of every single thing around us. From sights to smell to sounds, everything is just in complete harmony with one another.
We continue our way along the Federal Pass. After some consideration we decide to, after 4 hours of walking, head up the long stairs and get a bus back. Our way up was exhausting as there were very many stairs, but the view got better and better with every step. Higher and higher we came and slowly we rose above the forest again, being able to look out over the great valley again. We take the bus back to Katoomba Train Station and spent the way back talking and relaxing after this satisfying day. My evening was not very special, as I was editing photo’s and going to bed again around 23:30 because the next day was going to be just as, maybe even more, intense.
The Coast Walk at the Royal National Park Sydney is in our plan for today. It’s, again, an early rise, but just like the day before totally worth it. With a bus we go to Cronulla and take a ferry to Bundeena. From here we spent the whole day wandering along and exploring the coast. We track our way to The Balconies, then Wedding Cake Rock and finish at Marley Beach. I’ve always loved the beach, ocean air and the sun glancing on the water’s surface. The feeling just makes me feel like home, wherever I am and whatever time. The walk can sometimes be challenging, as we have to climb over rocks or find our way through dense bushes, but I can tell you, every one of the 10km we walked was totally worth it.
Many pictures (and posing) later we finally arrive at Marley Beach. But unfortunately there is not much time for a beach day, as we have to take the ferry back at 16:00. We walk all the way back to about The Balconies where we take the short cut to the village. The walk today was about 17km. After a picking up a well-deserved snack from the grocery store, the ferry arrives and it’s time to head back home, snoozing or daydreaming away on the rocking movements of the bus.
This weekend was just what I needed. The combination of being active and experiencing many breathtaking views while fully indulging in nature just gives me this full sense of being alive and free. I’m incredibly thankful for every minute I spent here, and will continue exploring and loving the sights of Australia for as long as I can.