In July 2014, I visited Australia. Since the country is too large to try to see everything in the amount of time I had, I limited my visit to the Outback, traveling by bus and train.
Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is the world’s oldest and largest rock, in the middle of the Australian desert.
Although the aboriginal owners request that people not climb the rock, sacred to them for thousands of years, climbing it is not forbidden except when the temperature and wind velocity at the top make it too dangerous. One man said he wouldn’t climb it because, living in Rome, he didn’t like it when people removed pieces of the Coliseum. I did not climb it. I also did not purchase a t-shirt bragging that I had climbed it.
Coober Pedy is pretty darned interesting. In addition to being the “opal capital of the world,” it has an underground Serbian church, hewn out rock like so many other structures in Coober Pedy due to the extreme summertime heat.
The church is new, formally dedicated in 2012. There was a lot of community support for the church, a lot of townspeople helped build it.
Coober Pedy has a population of about 2,000 and the best food I had in Australia–a terrific pizza place (John’s, you can’t miss it) and a wonderful Greek bakery.