Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Australia - Three Sisters
Blue Mountains, Australia.
Sent by IndigoAngel from New South Wales, Australia.
This is from Wikipedia : The Three Sisters is a famous rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. They are close to the town of Katoomba and are one of the Blue Mountains' most famous sights, towering above the Jamison Valley. Their names are Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m).
The Sisters were formed by erosion. The soft sandstone of the Blue Mountains is easily eroded over time by wind, rain and rivers, and the cliffs surrounding the Jamison Valley are being slowly broken up. Formations like the Three Sisters are created when water seeps into small cracks in the rock, gradually enlarging them over time to form large indentations. Eventually, the Sisters will be eroded away completely.
The commonly told legend of the Three Sisters is that three sisters fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe, but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. Battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back. This legend is claimed to be an Indigenous Australian Dreamtime legend.
However, Dr Martin Thomas, in his work "The artificial horizon: imagining the Blue Mountains", clearly shows that the "aboriginal" legend is a fabrication created by a non-Aboriginal local Katoomba identity, Mel Ward, presumably to add interest to a local landmark. The story originated in the late 1920s or early 1930s and is unknown prior to that date.
The Aboriginal traditional owners, the Gundungurra, have a legend that includes the Sisters rock formation. They are currently developing a website which will include these traditional stories.
From the nearby Echo Point, a bushwalking trail leads to the Three Sisters and down to the valley floor via more than 800 well-maintained steel and stone steps called "The Giant Stairway". Then a 1.5-hour walk on The Federal Pass trail leads to the base of Katoomba Falls and the Katoomba Scenic Railway. Walkers who don't wish to climb back to the top can take the Scenic Railway back to civilization for a small fee.