Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Mountains

Adam was kind enough to take us on a mini road trip out of Sydney to the Blue Mountains, which Amy said was one of her favorite trips when she was in Australia.  Just a couple hour drive outside of the city, the mountain range and series of deep gorges have a blue haze to them because of the forests full of eucalyptus trees:

 

We took a walk through one of the Blue Mountain's towns, Leura, for some shopping and to pick up some local Aussie treats at a bakery for a picnic/taste test with a beautiful view:


Starting in the lower left corner and going clockwise, you've got a fig slice (kinda like a cross between fruit mince pie and a Fig Newton), Lamington (vanilla cake cubes coated in chocolate and dusted with dried coconut), vanilla/passionfruit slice (pastry layered with vanilla and passionfruit creamy custard), custard pie (vanilla custard with nutmeg), and caramel slice (an awesomely chewy caramel bar cookie covered in chocolate)... all pretty awesome, although the vanilla and caramel slices were my favorite:


Not pictured are the awesome sausage rolls and meat pies, as we scarfed them down too fast.  Sausage rolls might be my new favorite thing.  

Adam and his siblings sing a song about sausage rolls to the tune of the ACDC classic, "It's a Long Way to the Top if Ya Wanna Rock and Roll":  it goes "It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll."  It is an earworm, as Tim will attest after hearing me sing it approximately a thousand times for the next week.

Also not pictured ( but thoroughly enjoyed) is the assortment of Australian salty snacks we sampled, including the familiarly orange-hued, yet strangely shaped Cheezels, Twisties (similar to Cheetos in shape and crunch), and bacon and cheese balls.  My review of each is as follows:

Cheezels: interesting... poofy like a cheez ball, but somewhat lacking in intense cheez flavor.  Let's be honest, though: nobody does fluoro (Aussie for "fluorescent") orange faux cheese like America.

Twisties: We tried chicken flavor Twisties, which had great crunch, but were disconcertingly chicken soup flavored.

Cheetos Cheese and Bacon Balls: Amazing.  Like the canned cheez balls of your childhood, yet with a slightly bacony, very smoky overtone.  Amy compared it to smoked gouda, which sounds weird, but is pretty accurate.

Probably not the healthiest meal any of us has eaten, but the view was great!:


After our picnic, we headed to Katoomba to catch another view of the mountains, including the awesome view of the Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point.



After checking out the views, we headed to a beautiful historic (built in 1880) hotel, the Carrington, for a beer.  They had some cool old Blue Mountains posters that reminded us of the old school U.S. National Parks prints of yorn.


They also had some really random Laurel and Hardy (I think?) statues in the hallway?


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