19th June: Katoomba, Blue Mountains
We planned our trip to the Blue Mountains to coincide with one of Blue Mountains' biggest annual events - the Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba.
The Festival is celebrated on the Saturday nearest the Winter Solstice each year which in 2010 is Saturday 19th June, so all of us were terribly excited to join in the festive atmosphere.
Yup, there must have been millions of people when we arrived at the main festival site. Ok ok, so I exaggerate... but you get the idea. :P
Despite the crowd, we didn't feel cramped or sweaty at all... I think it's mainly all thanks to the 12 degrees Celsius weather lah. Hee... as Daddy put it, Shiok! If not the pasar malams in Singapore are air conditioned too. Hahaha...
Besides the numerous stalls for us to browse, there were also open air musical performances throughout the festival grounds. They sure made nice accompaniment to the yummy hot fries we bought!
It was then time for the Festival Parade to start, and we all know that Daddy wouldn't let up the chance to have us ham it up for the camera!
At least that made the waiting a bit bearable... 'cos the Parade soon got underway!
All the participants are volunteers, and they are mainly the residents in Katoomba who wanted to put on a good show for the rest of us in this one-in-a-year spectacular.
What a riot of colours, infused with infectious beats & upbeat dancing... there was the occasional Tigger too. Hee.
Oh, and a Dragon made out of colourful cardboard too!
Lots of performers took part in the parade - the old, the young...
... and erm, the funny... :P
As an added treat, we could ride on the Winter Magic Steam Train through the scenic Blue Mountains at the Katoomba Train Station.
Di-di & I were pretty fascinated with the steam train, 'cos it was a truly working train that runs on steam - just like Thomas! Cool eh...
And the interior of the train looks distinctly retro too...
Di-di made use of the time inside the carriage to doodle.
While I just spent the time looking at the magnificent scenery outside as the train chugged along. It was a relatively short ride; about 1.5 hours for the return trip.
We spent some more time browsing through the festival stalls when we got back, before going back to our motel for a much-needed rest. We most definitely needed that after one whole day of fun, and because we were going to hit Sydney the next day!