Blue Mountains/Three Sisters


These are the very last of my holiday photos from a few months ago — for those not familiar with Australia, these photos are taken in the Blue Mountains (just outside of Sydney, New South Wales) is called "The Three Sisters". 

According to Australian Indigenous dream-time legend three sisters ('Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo') where turned to stone. 

These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle. As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.


The Blue Mountains were originally named "Carmarthen Hills" and "Landsdowne Hills" by Governor Phillip in 1788, however it wasn't long after that the distinctive blue haze surrounding the area saw the change in name to the "Blue Mountains". You can see in these photos that blue haze which is caused by the oil in the Eucalyptus trees  — the atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.


Master three and Miss Five loved looking at the view of the mountains. And yes, it was a long long way down below that fence. 


Even though settlers arrived in Australia in 1788, it wasn't until 1813 did this region begin to be explored. The Blue Mountains were seen as an impassible barrier covered so densely with trees and high mountains and escarpments. In 1813, Gregory Blaxland, William Charles Wentworth, and Lieutenant Lawson, along with four servants, four pack horses and five dogs, set off on an exploration into the unknown (I wonder what they expected to find). 

On the 11th May 1813 the explorers departed from Emu Plains reaching the foothills of the Blue Mountains, or Glenbrook as it is known today. For Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson, the trip across the Blue Mountains was a tremendous struggle. Having insufficient food for their journey, they recorded the trek required constant hacking through thick scrub and treading through "damp dew-laden undergrowth". They were also in fear of attack by Aborigines (many early explorers were attached and some killed in their quest). These factors, in combination with sickness, nearly saw the men defeated by the rugged terrain.

Eighteen days later, on the 29th May 1813, the Blue Mountains was no longer considered an impassible barrier following the discovery of the gently sloping mountains to the west. By 1813, William Cox, an extraordinary engineer, assembled a team of thirty convicts and eight guards to build a road across the Blue Mountains. In just six months, Cox had crossed the Blue Mountains with a road of one hundred and one miles all the way to Bathurst. (The Bathurst Road). (SOURCE)


I marvel at the engineering feat of these early settlers (not just in Australia, but the early settlers in the USA)  — they were remarkable men who did extraordinary things to open up our countries for settlement. 


At this time of the  year the wattle flowers and everything turns golden yellow. It looked so beautiful, but not everyone is as keen on the smell as me!!

Tourists everywhere all taking photos of themselves using those selfie-sticks that really annoy me!!
Miss Five taking a break after looking at the epic view of the Blue Mountains.
*****

Comments

  1. It is very difficult to imagine being a settler. Strange land, with no idea of what to expect, and little more than their hands to get them started. It's amazing.

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    1. The early settlers to Australia came to from Great Britain, a place that is cold in winter and very mild in summer - to settle in a country that is very hot and dry in summer and mild in winter. The crops they grew in Britain didn't do at all well here and the seasons are back to front. I cannot imagine what the early settlers must have thought. Sadly many died from disease but also from lack of food and very poor conditions. The traditional owners of this land, the Aboriginal people didn't live like those in Britain, so everything they wanted they had to build/make themselves - the same as those who went to America. It really is amazing they kept on going!!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing the history of your country!! I love history and don't happen to know much about your country. It blessed me. Our explorer were Lewis and Clark. God bless

    Kelly

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    1. I thought it would be nice to share a little of Australia with my overseas friends. I am glad you enjoyed these photos.

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  3. Wonderful pictures, leaving be breathless, my darling friend !
    Kiss Miss Five for me, she'e so cute !
    Have a blessed week
    Dany

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    1. Miss Five is a gorgeous girl!! and so much fun to go on holidays with :))

      The scenery is breathtaking and so vast, it just goes on forever.

      xx

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  4. That's interesting. I didn't know why they were called the Blue Mountains.
    Our family has commented more than once in different situation on how it must have been for the early settlers in some areas of this country. In areas where it was just miles and miles of scrub dessert or where the trees and foliage grow so thick you know it was impassable back in the early days, one wonders what they thought and how they managed it.

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    1. I love reading stories of the early explorers and settlers, they fascinate me with their ability to do all this hard work for those in future generations. Have you ever watched "Christie" (Clara leant me her DVD series) as that shows those early settles in the mountains of Kentucky (?) where they lived among the trees/forrest and it gives a feel of what it must have been like.

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  5. That was an interesting history lesson, Jo! :) And beautiful photos - I love the way the mountains look blue from the eucalyptus oil. And yes, those early settlers must have been tough and determined people! The conditions they lived in and the situations they forged through are unimaginable to us in our luxurious lives now!!
    I had a bit of a laugh at your selfie stick comment!!! ;)

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    1. I also love the blue from the eucalyptus oil - when I drive home from work the mountains are all blue in summer and its such a beautiful scene. Sometimes I imagine myself painting the landscapes as they look so "paintable"!!! I love reading about those early settlers and how they lived - "The secret river" is a fictional look at these early settlers on the Hawkesberry and really illustrates how tough life was. So glad they didn't give up!

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