Waiting, waiting…Dean was supposed to be at our hotel at 8:30 and by 10:00, he still wasn’t here. He was the one who laughed at us when I blogged that we got lost finding the hotel…duh! Well, he was late leaving Bondi after a hard nite but he also got lost from the train station to the hotel….ha, ha. Not as easy as he thought! He said he even ended up in a parade!
We started out shopping again at Peak or Paddy’s Markets as Dean wanted some clean clothes. Guess he hasn’t washed in a bit and for those prices, you can throw away your dirty clothes and buy new ones. Proceeded down to Hyde Park as they had a huge celebration for St. Patrick’s Day (Dean found this out when he was lost in the parade). Chilled out there for a bit and enjoyed people watching and listening to some good Irish music. Then off to venture to the Habour.
Then we did it, we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Bridge at the summit is 470 feet from the water. The hardest part (which wasn’t really hard) was climbing 5 sets of vertical steps to get to the walking area. (naturally had to climb them down also). Oh, and we had to strip our pockets, watches and stuff, put on a wonderful hot jumper, put on a talking device (to hear our guide), put on the tethers (lanyards) that wires you to the cable all the way and then finally we were able to go. Our guide was really really good. We stopped and talked and learned lots of informative information several times on the way up and the same on the way down. As we climbed the wind felt pretty gusty so it was good that we were tethered, further up we had to put raincoats on as it started to rain, then it quit and it was just cloudy. Interesting info that we learned was that the bridge was built from 1923 to 1932-took that many years to build it. The bridge climb only started ten years ago. The bridge climb operation is owned privately by 3 rich men and they pay the state of New South Wales 3 million per year to do the bridge climb business. Each climber pays approximately $200 per climb, each group is usually 12 people and people climb every 15 minutes. Our guide said they had the biggest day this January which was 1600 people. I guess that day certainly helped to make their yearly payment. It is a toll bridge and approximately 160,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. The monorail also uses this bridge. Only 16 people died in the construction of the bridge and only one died from falling from it and the rest were just construction accidents. Remember in those years, safety was not the huge issue as it is today, you just used your common sense to keep yourself safe.
Oh and guess what…when the Biggest Losers went to Australia and climbed the Bridge….they didn’t do it all the way. Some areas are relatively narrow to walk through and so they had to use an elevator to get them up to the stage when they could climb the stairs and then walk on the gentle incline to the top.
The views from the Bridge are fantastic. You can see all the way to the Blue Mountains to the west and you can see the mouth of the entrance to Sydney the other way. The amount of tour rental companies that do cruises, etc. are wild and plentiful from all docks and it was interesting to be up above them and see how many are down there.
At the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Bridge and Opera House
Dean and John checking out the Opera House construction
On the Opera House steps
We also did the Oprah House (as John called it) aka as Opera House. A very elegant outstanding structure.
After having walked 20 blocks down to the harbour, climbed the bridge and then walked back to the hotel, we were all pretty pooped. Off to Bondi to laze on the beach tomorrow and then we’ll hit the Blue Mountains tomorrow night. We are sleeping in a hostel again and Dean says this one is really nice….I hope so!
PS...Just arrived and this hostel is not at all like the Arts Factory...more to come soon