Well… the day had an interesting start. I set my alarm for 8:45am, lots of time to get up, shower, and get ready for my 10:20am appointment for the Bridge Climb (my non-refundable, $240 AUD appointment, that is). I haven’t had a problem waking up on time, or typically much earlier than my alarm all week, so I wasn’t concerned – until I opened my eyes and peered at my iPhone, which showed the time as being 9:40am.
This prompted a rather quick reaction of me throwing back the covers, throwing on some shorts, grabbing a few things and flying out of the hostel. Luckily Central Station is literally 20 steps away from here, but the train was about 10 – 15 mins away, I had to buy the ticket, etc, etc, so by the time I got to the platform I was frantically calling them saying “I’m going to be laaaaaate!” (in a nice way), because they said they want you there 15 mins before the climb (not – gonna – happen).
Anyway they were very nice, didn’t laugh at me for one, basically told me I should get here on time if I’m at Central now, told me how to get there once I got to Circular Quay, and said as long as I get there on time, I’m ok.
So I sat patiently on the train, got to Circular Quay, and ran.
Got to the Bridge Climb at 10:20am.
Found out they pushed it back to 10:30am lol (my fault? unsure).
It was a fun morning.
SO ANYWAY – after I calmed down a bit, and cooled down a bit, they called us all in (still had about 10 mins to spare!), we signed our lives away with the various legal documents that we had to sign, took a breathalyzer test (no, you cannot go on a bridge climb drunk) and SUITED UP!
The suits are these extremely sexy “onesies”, for lack of a better word. You have to remove basically anything on you – from watches to jewelry to cameras or whatever – basically anything that could drop from the bridge and summarily kill someone :p of course this means you cannot take a camera, which sucks, but anyway.
After this we continued on our trek – got suited up with a headset to hear the team leader, a hat (which has to be attached to your onesie), a handkerchief (which has to be attached to you), if you’re taking glasses or sunglasses you need a little strap attached to them, you get a rain jacket issued to you in a little carrying pouch (again, attached), and you get your harness, to keep YOU attached (to the bridge, that is).
The whole thing took a little over a half hour to get sorted out, around 11am we went out and started the climb! Unfortunately, though I saw a great many AMAZING sights, I do not have a lot of pictures – I bought two of myself, and the one on the left here was taken before the climb started.
I can tell you that the sights are quite literally breathtaking.
I took the “Discovery Climb” which basically led us through the middle of the bridge so we could see all the nuts and bolts, get a detailed tour talking about how the thing was built, etc, etc. It was very cool and took us right through the middle through a bunch of stairways, ladders and walk ways – all the while being firmly clipped on to a zip line.
I’m not afraid of heights but they’re also not my best friend, but I found I really didn’t have any anxiety around it at all – it was a very easy climb, and while the sights were stunning, the heights were not a problem. We continued through the middle of the bridge, going higher and higher, until we reached the very peak of the middle of the bridge (you can get some idea of height from the picture of the bridge on the left – 134 meters above water
It was a lot of fun, and something I would highly recommend to visitors. Our leader, Drew, was really funny and a great guy to climb with.
After the climb I picked up my pictures and decided to wander around for food… I found a great little grill in a food court and had a very nice burger and “chips”, and continued on my way… I was still down at Circular Quay so walked around a bit, and suddenly remembered – I hadn’t done the Sydney Opera tour yet! So I set my sights on the Opera House!
I am … SO … impressed with this building.
The designer, Jørn Utzon, is quite an amazing visionary – he dreamed up this concept that is just an architectural marvel. We got to see the inside of three of the theaters including the main one for concerts, and immediately I’m regretting not attending a show here. They do a lot of different styles of events and shows, one of the theaters is actually used as a recording studio in it’s spare time.
Needless to say, I am very, very impressed. What an amazing place, and an amazing thing to have represent your country. Go Australia!
After the tour I decided to walk back, and took several detours along the way… I walked through the Botanical Gardens again, I went back to Customs House (and read a Canadian Newspaper!!!), saw the Archibald Fountain and visited the International Food Festival again (no food, wasn’t too hungry). Walked through Hyde Park, and then kept walking! So many neat places along the way, it was a really, really nice way to end my last day wandering around 🙂
And that is exactly what it was… my last day wandering around! I could easily stay here for another month… or six… and still not see and do everything. I didn’t go to all the museums, because frankly I wouldn’t have seen any daylight if I had – there’s so many here! It’s crazy! But I saw what I wanted to see, which was a LOT, and I’m really happy with the time I’ve spent.
Tomorrow I’m going to go to the Blue Mountains for a bit of a different experience… it’s a two hour train ride there (and obviously two hours back), so I won’t be going for too long, but I’ll be doing my best to get out of here early (we’ll see how that goes) and see a different part of Australia 🙂
And with that, tomorrow will be my last full day here in Sydney, I’ll be flying out early on Sunday morning to New Zealand for a very busy two weeks – trying to explore all that is New Zealand! It’s a big place, and there is a LOT to see and do – so we’ll see how that works out for me. One highlight – I will have a car! This means… driving on the wrong side of the road. This will be interesting!!!!
So that’s it! I may have time to blog tomorrow – hopefully – we’ll see how it goes, I plan on getting back to Central around 5 or 6 tomorrow so I’m not out too late, and that will give me some time to wrap up here, and then my flight to Auckland, New Zealand is bright and early Sunday morning at 9:30am. Because it’s an International Flight, I do have to be there a bit early… and I have to find the airport, since I haven’t been there before!! 😛
Goodnight, good day, good luck – cya later.