Monday, Jan 16

I am on the 7:24 a.m. to Katoomba, out of Central Station. I flipped the seat to face forward and see the sights as we go up the mountain. It was raining this morning when I woke up, but is clearing up a bit. I have water, sandwich, and chips for lunch. The NOOK is charged for reading and writing purposes; after all, it’s two hours on this train each way! There is lots of graffiti on buildings and overpasses. The suburbs remind me of Queens, lots of attached houses, apartments, and big buildings. Australia is all about being ‘green’ as evidenced by all the laundry I see hanging from balconies and in backyards.
There are train conductors blowing their whistle when it is all clear to go. And so we roll on past
Redfern, Parramatta, Seven Hills, Blacktown, Doonside, Rooly Hill, St. Marys, Wellington, Penrith,l Instead of buildings I see cows, sheep, pastures and Melaleuca trees interspersed with small rural towns.

We keep climbing up to higher ground, a few towns on either side of a river. When I can see them, the houses are pretty big, with nice yards and patios. Many of the houses have solar panels on them.

Wow, if I could reach out the window I could touch rock wall and trees. I hope the train is well anchored to the track.

We keep rolling on toward Katoomba. We pass Glenbrook, Blaxland, Warimoo, Valley Heights, Springwood, Faulconbridge, Woodford, Leura, one more stop!
I think it universal that understanding the train conductor say the upcoming stops is not usual. Why? Don’t they want us to know where we are going and when to get off? Thankfully there are signs at each station so I know where I am. KATOOMBA!

The Three Sisters

I decide to walk to Echo Point on my own with a map. It took about 35 minutes. The fog was unbelievable when I reached the viewing area. I could hardly see anything for the fog. I am not alone, there are hundreds of people, tour groups, youth groups, couple, families all looking into this valley of fog. Suddenly it began to lift, and we saw stunning views, The Three Sisters to the left, standing guard over the mountain and valley.

I had lunch, caught the city bus back to the train station and walked around a bit then when into the train station to wait as it started to rain. Got on the 1:20 to Sydney, hoping the rain will clear up so I can do some more sightseeing in the city. No rain in Sydney so I decided to get off at Central Station and walk to St. Mary Cathedral. I misread the map, but asked for directions and got back on course. I walked up Wentworth for what seemed like miles, thinking I would never find it when, finally, I spy the steeple in the distance, I keep going and am greatly rewarded. A magnificent cathedral, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. It is dedicated to Mary, Help of Christians. There was a statue of St. Mary Magdalene in the sanctuary across from Jesus, after he has risen and she sees him in the garden. Sadly, no photographs were allowed.
After spending time in the cathedral, I walked back to my hotel, stopping at a bookstore, Dymocks . Decided on a take a way for dinner, pasta from the food court in an office building, $5, what a bargain.So, even without Elisa I found my way everywhere I wanted to go. Yea me! I am exhausted today; I think I spent at least five hours out of the ten I was out walking.

Trains, Mountains, and City Sights

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