Hi, I’m Jess, and welcome to Tripelio! I’ve been obsessed with the beauty and the wonder of this wide world since before I could walk or even talk. I was always exploring as a toddler – much to my parents dismay – and things haven’t changed since. As soon as I finished school, I, Read More
Sydney is full of places for outdoor enthusiasts to discover and enjoy, one of the most prominent being the Blue Mountains. The famous range and its Three Sisters formation are known around the world and frequented by locals and visitors alike.
Now comes my confession: though I’m an avid outdoor fanatic and I’ve lived in Sydney for over two decades, I had never been to the Blue Mountains before. When a group of friends and I were talking about possibly taking a weekend staycation and one of them mentioned wanting to tour the Blue Mountains, I jumped at the opportunity.
The Three Sisters
We started out on a Friday morning and went to settle into the bed and breakfast suites we had reserved. I was finally going to see The Three Sisters in person, and couldn’t have been more excited. However, I was surprised that the experience surpassed my already lofty expectations. It’s hard to describe how I felt looking at sandstone peaks that had stood for thousands of years towering high above me.
We ran into another group of people touring the area, one of which was a professional tour guide taking a short vacation. My friends and I talked with them while taking a rest stop, and the guide told us all about the Aboriginal folklore surrounding the history of The Three Sisters.
It’s believed that there were three gorgeous sisters from one tribe who fell in love with three brothers from a different tribe. The ladies were forbidden to marry the brothers, so the men captured them. A terrible battle ensued and the sisters were turned to stone for their protection. It’s quite a tale, but definitely befitting of such a storied landmark. Gaining cultural tidbits like this definitely makes exploring the outdoors a richer, more fulfilling experience.
Our trek back down to our car was filled with laughter and sharing, and though we hated to leave The Three Sisters behind, we were famished and looking forward to some much-needed nourishment. There are an incredible number of restaurants and cafes in the area, but we chose to eat at a cozy spot in Katoomba before heading back to the bed and breakfast. Lesson number one: bring more than three trail mix bars and a quart of water along if you’re going to spend the day hiking in the Blue Mountain range.
Thank goodness one of my friends had more experience and sense and brought some spare food to share, or else I would’ve had to drag myself drown the mountain instead of walking. The views are out of this world, but it’s physically taxing and you need plenty of fuel to make it through.
Lesson number one: bring more than three trail mix bars and a half litre of water along if you’re going to spend the day hiking in the Blue Mountain range. Thank goodness one of my friends had more experience and sense and brought some spare food to share, or else I would’ve had to drag myself drown the mountain instead of walking. The views are out of this world, but it’s physically taxing and you need plenty of fuel to make it through.
Caving On The Fly
My group enjoyed a great rest Friday night and decided to spend the day touring the Jenolan Caves on Saturday. This is yet another site that was new to me, so I was anxious to go exploring. I took heed from my experience the previous day and packed a good sized picnic for all of us to share, we got our gear together, and then hit the road. “Magnificent”, “stunning”, and “breathtaking” don’t sufficiently describe how I felt after entering the caves. There were many other people taking tours that day, but I hardly noticed them because of the beauty of the formations.
We meandered our way through and had a blast along the way. If you’ve never been through a cave before, be careful which one you choose. The Jenolan Caves have many routes, and we went through Lucas Cave. It’s not for the faint of heart or novices, but it’s quite the challenge for anyone with spelunking experience.
After exiting the cave, we took a walk around Blue Lake to have our picnic lunch and I saw one of the highlights of our trip — an adorable platypus. The curious little guy waded around the water, and though he didn’t come too close to where we were, it was amazing to see one in person.
Yet Another Lesson
We all felt a world away from everything else while experiencing the natural wonders within the Jenolan Caves, but on this particular trip, it’s a good thing that we weren’t too far from civilization. We went back for our final night at our accommodation. The following morning one of my friends — the one who had driven us around — discovered he no longer had his car keys in his pocket. We searched high and low, but couldn’t find them. With no spare around, we had to call a car key cutting service to get us out of our bind. Lesson number two: great adventures require careful planning and a secure place for your keys!
After all the fun and craziness of the last couple of days, I was more than happy to settle back and relax in my own bed. Then again, it won’t be long till I get the itch for a new for more outdoor adventures with my friends and seeing what new experiences await us in the world. The hard-learned lessons were well worth all that I gained.
Ever since Walt Disney created Disney World he set the standard for today’s amusement parks. Even to this day, not many can top it. Disney World finds a way to make a simple amusement park meal, into a magical experience. You have the opportunity to be transported to a baseball game, New Orleans, or even under the sea. Eating at Disney World is more than just a meal, it’s an experience! Here are 5 unique and magical places to eat that are a must see on your next trip to Disney World.
This is definitely a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Located in Epcot’s Future World, The Coral Reef is lined with giant windows that gaze into an even greater aquarium. The scenery slowly diversifies during your meal so you will always be stunned at the ever-changing wildlife of the sea.
This restaurant is one of the pricier ones found in the Epcot’s Future World and has a primarily seafood dominated menu, but you can easily find something for all. The scenery itself is what the majority of the tourists come for but they stay for the ambience and comfort after a long day of adventure. The price range is about $15 to $29.99 USD per adult.
This ballpark food themed restaurant is located on Main Streets USA in the Magic Kingdom. If you miss the unique taste and feel of a ballpark hotdog this is the place for you. The uniquely themed restaurant makes you feel like you’re stuck in the 60’s and getting prepped for the 1961 World Series.
They have a very simple and classic menu that serves hot dogs, fries, nuggets and corndogs. The average price is about $14.99 and under. Casey’s Corner is a quick stop option for the family to grab a bite in-between their travels.
The Tusker House is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is an African-American family style buffet. This restaurant has absolutely everything. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they can enjoy on the buffet menu. They serve everything from scrambled eggs, strawberry turnovers, and fruit cobbler for breakfast to oven-roasted red skin potatoes with rosemary for dinner. The average price is around $30.00 to $59.99 USD per adult.
They also offer an in-character dining experience, but it is only for breakfast, so keep that in mind. With its wild theme, the whole family can enjoy the night at the Tusker House.
Looking to take your kids on an adventure of a lifetime? Look no further, the T-Rex café is like eating dinner on the set of Dinosaurs the movie. It is located in the Downtown Disney Area; you can’t miss it, just look for the giant dinosaurs. The Diner has a full prehistoric atmosphere; they even have a Build-A-Dino workshop inside. If you really want a treat, head to the Meteor Room and watch a meteor shower every couple of minutes.
The T-Rex Café is part of the Premium, Platinum and Wine and Dine packages. The average amount for meals is around $15 to $29.99 USD per adult.
This is a classic buffet located in the Magic Kingdom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It is definitely one of the more popular locations to eat. Having in-costume characters serving your table such as Donald, Minnie, and the man himself – Mickey Mouse – will make anyone have a permanent smile. They serve anything from traditional meals such as chicken nuggets and pizza to more diverse meals like Thai Curry and Seasoned Salmon. Setting a reservation for this location is recommended since it is always in high demand. The average prices are about $30 to $59.99 USD per adult, so it is easily one of the more expensive restaurants in Disney World.
You can find detailed maps for these locations using the application Disney World Dining. When using applications on free Wi-Fi or out in a crowded area, try to use a virtual private network to mask your private information. Especially when traveling it is important to take extra security measures to keep flight, payment, and other travel information private.
Whether you decide to dine with Mickey, eat under the sea, or go back in time with the dinosaurs, you’re dining experience at Disney World will be like nothing you have ever experienced. Try out one of these restaurants, or discover your own favorite. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re at “the happiest place on earth.”
Although the news may give you a drastically different idea of Russia, it’s actually a fairly safe, modern and very fascinating country to visit. As the largest country in the world, Russia is a place of breathtaking scenery, intriguing cities and a unique culture. Here’s my list of the top wonders of Russia you need to see and/or experience:
Note: Moscow has a lot to see, but it can be a little more challenging to navigate (especially if you don’t speak Russian—many metro signs are only in Cyrillic!). Make sure to grab a city map and metro map (often available for sale in touristic areas or from your hotel or hostel) or get a good app on your phone!
Despite the image of Russia that we often see, it’s really an interesting and picturesque country to visit. As the largest country in the world, it has a beautiful variety of culture, food, landscapes and people. Get out and explore the cities and the sights, meet new people, embrace the Russian culture and don’t forget to eat plenty of delicious Russian cuisine!