Tag Archive: Three Sisters

 One thing I love about Australia is its many hamlets. Small, quaint, charming, enchanting villages either in the mountains or by the coast. I remember the first time I visited Katoomba. Took the train aiming to spend a whole morning viewing the magnificent gorges of the Blue Mountains and doing some bushwalking. I did. But I remember more that one afternoon I walked aimlessly along the streets of Katoomba. No Maccas (McDo) or KFC food chains here. Instead, I found tiny cafes, charming bookstores, arts and crafts stores, and food and delishops.




Echo Point


My Katoomba Bookstore

My Katoomba Bookstore



Back in 1999, I stayed in an artist’s home. It’s quite a walk from the Katoomba Train Station, and it didn’t help that there was no heating around the house. Next day’s bushwalking was a struggle that I kept wishing I was on the cablecar with glass floor that kept passing us above the bush. When I had the afternoon to myself, I mechanically walked towards this bookstore that has seen better times. Old, unpretentious, but oozing with that old world charm. At the time, there was a baby grand piano in the center where someone (I assumed he was the owner) was playing some classical tunes. He offered me a cuppa and encouraged me to browse around lugging my cup of my favorite brew. What a relaxing afternoon.



Cablecar takes you right to Katoomba's iconic landmark -- The Three Sisters in Echo Point.

Cablecar takes you right to Katoomba’s iconic landmark — The Three Sisters in Echo Point.

Bookstore in Katoomba

Bookstore in Katoomba



Katoomba is truly an artist’s haven.  The oldest cafe in Australia is also to be found here, so lovingly restored and preserved. They even hold movie nights here! And in neighboring Leura, one is encouraged to simply walk around and appreciate the local architecture and gardens. There are bushwalking options leading all the way to Echo Point or to Leura Falls, if that suits your fancy. Or maybe you would like to just stay around Leura Mall and enjoy the flowering cherry trees. Amazing how they have preserved this historic street to include the Leura Post Office which now houses a news agency. Have a meal in one of the restos and coffee shops before checking out the many antique and gift boutiques.



We had a fantastic lunch here!

We had a fantastic lunch here!





Paragon Cafe is the oldest cafe in Australia.

Paragon Cafe is the oldest cafe in Australia.

You'd love dog-friendly Leura!

You’d love dog-friendly Leura!



And not to forget, take home some of those gourmet jams, dips, marmalades and tea concoctions. You don’t know how a simple jar can “extend one’s holiday”.



The old Post Office now houses a news agency.

The old Post Office now houses a news agency.

Grab a table at the Solitary Cafe. Just beware your coffee easily turns cold.] Grab a table at the Solitary Cafe. Just beware your coffee easily turns cold.

The first time I went to view the Three Sisters, it was so foggy there was nothing to see. The second time around, 2 of the 3 sisters showed up. The third hid behind the fog. Epic fail. I comforted myself with photos and paintings of the breathtaking view the fogs on those 2 occasions conspired to deprive us.



The rocky pinnacles of the Three Sisters.

But nothing beats actually seeing this most majestic view of the mountains and the gorge. How Mother Nature carved out this landscape and came up with this creation credited to the winds and waters that touched the land — this scene beats any painting or postcard. A popular attraction and favorite day trip out of Sydney, we headed early to beat the “tourist bus crowd”. Parked the car near Echo Point and walked towards the cliff barred by fences that failed to make our 2 little boys cautious and wary of the chasm just inches away.





Adrenaline pumping high …. These boys must be more excited than I am. 🙂

Finally. I earlier visited years back in springtime and fall but no luck. Here I am now, back in the dead of winter and finally viewed all 3 sisters! Beautiful, notwithstanding that my eyes were partly glued to the little boys darting here and there. I had to struggle against my own paranoia that those wire and glass fences are not strong enough to hold off these boys on super hyperactive mode. 🙂





Mommy Reia and her boys.

Mercifully, the adrenaline wore off. The interest over the cliffside views, the gorge, the canyons faded and it was time to go. At some point I wondered if these boys would have enjoyed more if we went bushwalking. On second thought, the walk would have tired them out and stressed me and their mom to the max. 🙂 Then hunger pangs set in. First to a Chocolate House, then off to Katoomba’s quaint little town. Still no chain restos like McDonald’s or Hungry Jack here, thank God. Just like how I remembered it. We went for a proper lunch in this new Korean restaurant where one of the boys practiced his skills with the chopsticks. Found some interesting shops too before we decided to drive around the town just to check out the once familiar corners.





Homemade chocolate?


Slurp that coffee fast!

From here, we drove through lovely Leura and dropped in at Solitary Cafe. This was where we had our last glimpse of the rocky pinnacles of the Blue Mountains while sipping our black liquids and nibbling on some sweets. The only problem eating outdoors here is that your coffee soon turns cold. 😦 They should consider serving it in a thermo flask. Seriously.





Last glimpse of the Blue Mountains.


Tired and out. Finally…..



But kid- friendly this place is. The younger boy may have “disturbed” the garden’s setup as he ran around spilling some pebbles here and there, kicking off some dust which i suspect found their way into my coffee. As it happened, he soon tired out too. Too tired to even gobble up some of the chocolate fudge his mom ordered for him. Meanwhile, his grandma delighted in the view while uncomplainingly sipping cold coffee. All’s well, indeed. 😉