Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Blue Mountains and Hitler

Florida is a very flat place. My husband, a Miami native, always says the only mountain in South Florida is the garbage dump on the side of the turnpike -- sad, but true. That being said, one of the things we love about Sydney is the amazing topography.

Winding uphill roads often lead to views of the Sydney Harbor bridge and Opera House. Beaches have a beginning and an end, because they are flanked by incredible cliffs on both sides. And a 90 minute drive from Sydney brings you to mountains, yes, real mountains... the Blue Mountains.

We went up for a long weekend. Due to the rain, we spent much of the weekend at the indoor pool at Lilianfels, our fabulous hotel.



The main purpose of our trip was to go on the Zigzag Railroad, which that particular weekend was being pulled by Thomas the Train. The Zigzag railroad was pretty cool, steam engines on both ends of the train literally zigzagged it down the mountain, with each engine taking a turn pulling the train in an opposite direction to the bottom. Unfortunately, I got zero photos of Thomas and/or railroad, as it was absolutely pouring rain the entire day.

When the sun finally came out (our last morning there) we tried to cram in all the places we had planned on seeing. First and foremost, was Scenic World. Rode the incredible Scenic Skyway across the Jamison Valley, it's like an 84 passenger glass bottom boat gliding through the air.
View from the Skyway:



Next, we conquered the insane how-did-this-pass-the-safety-inspections Scenic Railway, where you plunge 1360 feet into a rain forest on the world's steepest incline railway. Did I mention there were no seatbelts or doors on this thing-- and that we were holding onto our 3 & 4 year olds so tightly they were turning blue?

Anyway, after our railway-of-death excursion, we enjoyed a little nature walk-- okay, my kids and I enjoyed a little nature walk, my husband moaned and whined about getting the hell out of there, so we did-- we took the Scenic Cableway back to the top, and thus completed our encounter with the great outdoors.



We figured on our way home we would stop at this toy and train museum that we had heard about.



So here's the deal with the Toy & Train Museum in Leura:
  1. The museum is inside a private residence.
  2. The museum was not at all child-friendly-- it was all wobbly glass cases and fragile stuff-- we chose the option of just purchasing admission to the "garden and outdoor train exhibits".
  3. The outdoor train cost $2 to watch it go for about 2 minutes. The garden was basically just grass, I wouldn't actually recommend paying to see it.
  4. There were glass enclosures with what I think they were possibly Lionel trains-- not sure, um, who cares, because more importantly on the second side of the glass enclosures shed was this...


A closer view: (yes that is a very carefully set up, detailed Nazi war scene, I'm guessing there must be over 1000 pieces here)



Yep, that's some scary shit. Um, we're Jewish, and we got the hell out of there pretty quickly.
How in the world is it possible that the local hotels and the wikipedia.com Blue Mountains page list this as a "tourist attraction"-- doesn't anyone know what is lurking behind that white picket fence???

Shockingly, I could only find one thing on the internet about this insanity-- from a Sydney Morning Herald article from July 2006. Read the last paragraphs.

I really have nothing else to say about this. The End.



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8 comments:

Tors said...

Hey Flgirl! I got your message. The YDU site went down last night, turns out there was a fire at my hosting company's servers! No major damage, but they're ever-so-slowly getting everything back online. Hopefully it will be 100% by tomorrow.

Anyway...wow. I'm glad we gave that place a miss last time we were in the BMs. *eek*

Natalie said...

That sounds crazy, I can't imagine being Jewish and walking in and seeing the stuff. I read the article, I guess it would have been nice if you'd seen that before you went! On the bright side your hotel looks nice!

floridagirlinsydney said...
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floridagirlinsydney said...

The hotel was fantastic-- and it was the 1st time my boys successfully shared a bedroom (by successfully I mean-- they slept-- and that was mostly due to me letting them watch TV in bed until they passed out)--ah, vacation.

kileigh7 said...

Holy garbge! That is just completely wrong!

I so wish they'd not list that as a tourist attraction-or they should just list it as NOT FOR CHILDREN!

Argh!

At least the hotel was nice...

Anonymous said...
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Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Anonymous- Easy to be an anonymous hater right?

Anonymous said...
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