Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today it was bugger the housework. Grey, threatening to rain but didn't. So Clare, her friend Bec and I took off to the chilly blue mountains up the picturesque Bells Line of Road (weird name for a road I know) and did lunch, shopped a little, marvelled at the hippyness and the old schoolness of the place, ate far too much cake and generally had a lovely girly day.

On the map, it looks as if Sydney is surrounded by huge mountains, in fact they are quite distant and part of the Great Dividing Range that separates most of the eastern coast from the inland. It's amazing to think that pioneers actually forged their way through this forest of gum trees to reach rich grazing land in the west but they did.

For us, it's a boring 1 hour trip on the freeway or a lovely hour and a half
trip along the scenic route. If you ever visit Sydney, well worth the trip to this rather trippy mix of hippy and old school. Once a summer retreat for delicate Victorians (of the era not the state) it's now an odd blend of uber alternative and establishment. Lovely restaurants, weird architecture, a taste of yesteryear and delightfully expensive boutique deli's, clothing shops, Christmas shops, and warm pubs with big open fires. And frankly, amazing views although my last few visits have been in either doomsday cloud or evening. . .Come along and see . . .






Mount Victoria and typical style of housing in the area . .blue is a little unusual . .they have a penchant for 'peach'

Scruffy but quaint Imperial hotel but a fire in every room. . way cosy



Old Baby Grand in the lounge . .this hotel is very Fawlty Towers . . .

Their formal dining room . . quaint and old and musty . . .

Angel Hair Falls at Govett's leap is pretty gorgeous after recent rain

View? What view?

That view . . Govett's leap lookout over the Gross Valley

Leura Lollie Shop . . everything from a Hershey Kiss to a Fry's Mint Chocolate . .


The girls even found "Hello Panda" sweets from Japan . .ah a the memories!

Fun chocs but Kath, at $9 a bar for 100gms, no, I didn't buy . . .

Tea and Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and I don't actually have a sweet tooth . .

Too true, too many boutiques, kitchen shops, stationery, candles . . .

Leura main street . . we decided that although the shops are lovely it's the old fashioned small shop front that's appealing . .so distant from the big malls of today . . .


Country Women's Association sale . .They're everywhere, bless their souls . . .

Typical knick knacky shop window!

29 comments:

hokgardner said...

What lovely pictures. I would stopped in the candy shop and never come out.

Ribbon said...

thanks Baino... I enjoyed that trip down memory lane :-)

best wishes
Ribbon

Ropi said...

Those chocolates are a bit expensive. In Hungary only Western tourists buy a chocolate for that price. Hungarians usually avoid these shops for tourists.

Brian Miller said...

sounds like you had a blast today. the falls look amazing, along with the surrounding scenery. the windows in the dining area are pretty cool as well. thanks for sharing your adventure. hope the rest of the weekend goes well!

Susan at Stony River said...

I am SO in love with this place! The town, the views, all wonderful. It looks like a lovely day out too. Thanks for sharing the photos.

otin said...

Those photos really make me want to visit Australia, too bad I don't fly:(

Grannymar said...

You are really taking to this photo-walking. I love the photos.

More please!

subtorp77 said...

Okay, I was droolin' here, 'til you mentioned the price on those choco bars! For that sum I could get me half a kilo of fudge-HA!

Wonderful view, tho'. And I fancy that stained glass window and the hearth. Nice walking along with you, Baino :)

Renee said...

Oh Baino I want to be there too. I love the shops and the scenery and the cake.

How did the week go at work? Did you enjoy it?

By the way I burst out laughing at your comment about Ces, now I have to get her to go read it.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Don't Bug Me! said...

I loved the Blue Mountains when I was there. I seemed to have missed the sweet shop though - I would probably still be there if I had found it!

Kate said...

Lovely - I really like olde worlde hippy places!!!!
Comes from being an olde hippy i suppose...

California Girl said...

Yes, this is the kind of drive and day I like to spend every once in a while. Looks lovely. The shops look fun and the sticky cake is all I'd want. Yum!

Baino said...

Heather it's a paradise for the sweet tooth and a fave with the tourists.

Memory Lane Ribbon? Are you a pom or a New South Welshwoman?

Certainly are Ropi. The locals shop in Katoomba, Leura is indeed for the tourists.

Brian it was freezing! Always a good 4 degrees cooler up there which is nice in the summer.

Suze it's a funny place, just a few towns on the ridge of the mountains and all higgeldy piggeldy houses and resorts. Good to do something different on what's normally my cleaning and washing day frankly.

Never mind Otin, you can travel like me! Vicariously.

GM it was such a shitty day I'd have probably stayed in and watched DVD's otherwise. And every shot (not as clear as I'd like) was taken using manual settings ... I need the practice! My camera bag is my handbag these days.

Subby, they're strictly for the tourists. Chocolate isn't anywhere near that price in normal shops.

Renee, the week was good thanks. You'd have loved the shops . . .I was tempted to buy a potato peeler in he shape of a naked lady but it was $39! I keep saying that I don't have a sweet tooth but I outdid myself yesterday with a toffee crisp, two walnut whips and a massive piece of Sticky Date pudding!

DBM for some reason, it's off the main drag. Tucked away in a little arcade. I don't know how people find it but they do! Next time, look up a local (aka me) and I'll take you. Great bushwalking to if you're into that.

Definitely old hippies! I saw one guy walking five Airdaile terriers . .or they were walking him I should say. The boutiques are different and unusual, lots of 'recycled' fashion. . .last week they had the Solstice Festival up there .. all fairies and crystals and drum workshops! Not quite Nimbin but definitely a little on the odd side.

Cali we were only going to have scones and cream and jam but . . .temptation gave way!

Renee said...

39 doll hairs for a potato peeler, that would be the day.

Renee xoxo

GayƩ Terzioglu said...

Ooo I love that lolly shop! Once in, not out for half an hour.
Great pics. :)

laughingwolf said...

mahvy, dahling ;) lol

kinda place i don't mind living in... so hate big cities and their stupidities...

kj said...

baino, i've had days that look just like this, so i feel like i came along with you for the ride. i'm glad you had a fun day with the girls.

so back to work, eating three desserts at a time, declining sexy designer potato peelers--what else is new?

love love
kj

Kath Lockett said...

I feel like I was along for the ride Baino and rest assured I wouldn't have bought those chocolates either - nine bucks is too much for a quick laugh at the packaging!

The cake looks divine!

nick said...

I remember the Blue Mountains and "an odd blend of uber alternative and establishment" sums it up nicely. We were actually in Katoomba and went to a wonderfully quaint old tea shop. We could have been in some English seaside resort in the fifties.

lettuce said...

what a great trip.

I got close to arranging a definite trip to Oz next year - now probably deferred. But I'm determined to get there some time and before too long!

River said...

I love the knick knacky shop.

ebony said...

Wow. Nice pictures! I have to go for a girly outing...

Baino said...

Oh but Renee, it was so sweet . . little naked lady . . I think it was Alessi.

Actually Gaye, we went into a fantablous Deli in the main drag (where we had tea and cake) and they had the most wonderful Turkish delight, nougat, rosewater and petals . . thought of you!

Wuffa, definitely mahvy dahling!

kj, I keep saying that I like 'savoury'stuff but in the last month I've been caking it up big time from High Tea to sticky date . . even had a lemon meringue today! People buy it for me. . really . . they do!

Have you ever heard of Bloomsbury chocolate Kath? Maybe one for the Chocoblob?

It is weird isn't it Nick. Hard to describe unless you've been there. Sort of scruffy and chic all in one. They've definitely 'trendied' up a bit though. We couldn't get scones and cream and jam for quids . .used to be tea shops everywhere. All very posh and mod these days.

Well Lettuce, let me know when you do. I can give you hot tips and will be happy to be a Sydney tour guide.

River I'm not a knicky knacky person but I'm just drawn to these shops full of useless things . .some of them seriously beautiful. The girls found a cast iron (shiny silvery) tree that they fell in love with. I swear, if they had their own flat, they'd have bought it. I mean what do you do with a cast iron tree?

Ebony, nothing better! Lunch with the girls. We can biatch about boys, eat cake without guilt and shop till we drop! You do it . .call it retail therapy!

tony said...

Bravo Baino!
The Photos a just grand.Looks like a Fine Journey....Yes! More Please!Regards
tony.

Bimbimbie said...

When you see a street of shops like this it really heightens the soullessness of our boringly ugly homogenised malls.

Glad you ran away from the housework*!*

K8 the Gr8 said...

Such cozy pictures :)

Love the bench!

Why do they call it gross valley? It's anything but! Oh... wait... gross - big. Right.

Vita said...

Well...all very familiar spots! Sounds like you had a great day out...I just wish the boy would get his act together!!!

Ronda Laveen said...

I loved the "way cozy" fireplace until the pic of Angel Hair Falls. OMG, what a epic setting! Thanks, Baino.

Megan said...

I want to go there.