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Published: August 2nd 2011
July 31, 2011
It's a beautiful Spring day in Sydney getting up to 70 f (21 c).
After running a few errands Francine and Angie take the train to Sydney Harbor area. There is an Aroma Festival going on and the street are filled with caffine addicts. It's elbow to elbow. But the sites we really want to see are easy access. Just look up! The Sydney Opera House is everything that every picture of it has shown. A magnificant building sitting right on the edge of the water. Directly opposite of the Opera House is the other famous site in the Sydney skyline and that is the Harbor Bridge. WOW! Great waterfront area full of boats, ferries, eateries and people.
The plan was to visit the old Sydney part of town but the festival has people everywhere and even to stand in line for something to eat or drink would take forever. We were hoping to grab something quick but trying to find a hot dog stand or a short line to any food stall appears hopeless. Francine opts for tasteless roastbeef sandwich and Angie a chocolate muffin along with the gelato had when we first got
to the harbor is our breakky and lunch. Old habits die hard, and we can't resist the ice cream.
We have an appointment to keep and can't possible be late. Francine has planned a family outing with me included to Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Now keep in mind that Francine is deathly afraid of heights. She couldn't even walk up a spiral staircase 5 meters wide in a shopping mall in Ecuador in 2007. Today is the end of the fear!!! Or we all hope it is!!
We meet Francine's son Jaymes and his fiancee Sarah; son Chris and his girlfriend Hayleigh at the Bridge Terminal and begin the orientation and equipment donning. We get everything we might possibly need, jumpsuit, beannies, gloves, radio receivers, and even handkerchiefs. The most important of course is the safety belt and the lifeline attachment to the safety cables. A short little trial run and we walk through the tunnel taking us up to the top of the Harbor Bridge.
A climb up several sets of stairwells and a long catwalk that leads us out over the water. Francine does really well in the difficult climb up the stairs with
only one little issue when the mesh behind the steps stops and so does Francine, she begins to back down the steps but the guides talks her up and all is well. Then the ascent on the long slope of the top support truss which to me looks easy as it is wider and has hand rails on both sides but this is the area that Francines has the most trouble with. She is doing her best spiderman impression with a low center of gravity and the spider like movements along the top truss. When we have to stop she sits and does enjoy the distance views trying hard not to look down. Francine is always up (literally) for a photo and the climb goes on.
Angie tries to keep up with Francine in her spiderman mode. But Angie slows down to take in the beautiful view. There are no words to describe seeing the Opera House and the sites of the Harbor from this angle. As the sun sets the view is even more spectacular. The down side is that it is dark and we are standing on top of a bridge 134 metres (440 ft) from the
The climb down requires our head lamps to see our way through the stairwells and the cat walk under the bridge that are dark and foreboding but just a little light is all we need and the climb down is easy. Francine is able to take a lift down on the stair sections and joins us for the catwalk back to the base of the bridge.
Francine and Angie are famished as the meager food had earlier in the day not being substantial enough after a long day. We find a lively Irish Pub with music and dancing, with the Irish brouge heavy in the noisy pub. We split a buger and have a pint. Yummy! We take one last walk around the Opera House as it is almost deserted and the temperature is perfect for a night stroll along the harbor. Our walk slowly takes us to the train for the long ride back to home base.
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