The Climb, The University and The Opera House

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November 1st 2011
Published: November 2nd 2011
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Today was a very epic day. I am still jetlagged and because of that I woke up at 6am today.
After checking some things online I tried to get back to sleep but gave up and cooked myself some good breakfast and got ready for the Sydney Bridge Climb.

My time slot for the climb was 10am and so I left at 9am to give myself a 10 minute extra buffer for making it to the site by walking. (35 minute walk)
When I reached the desk I couldn't help but think how Legen (wait for it) Dary this would be. But I quickly remembered that even though I love to do crazy things and love the adrenaline rushes I am also surprisingly scared of heights. (I'm not sure many people know that) So I knew that this would not only be exciting but also a little scary.

The climb began with a debriefing where we were given jumpers and geared up with our harnesses and audio gear.

I learned som enew assie words as our guide kept using words like ripper, which I assumed in context meant cool, and hunky dori. My guide actually thought my name was Daxteriz. I actually like that name, possibly my future son's name. Dax you're grounded! It's got a good ring.

As I have many problems with jeans the jumper was also slightly loose on me except for around the bum. With my huge arse, if I bent down to tie my shoelaces I could feel a tight tug on the backside. Just a little worried I might hear a rip which wouldn't be ripper.

After we had donned all the necessary equipment we headed out through a metal detector (to make sure we didn't have any loose change or watches on us) and into a large rock tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel I could see the bridge and just that moment I felt a little uneasy as we hooked in our harnesses to the cable that would track our pathway through the climb.

As we exited the tunnel we boarded a catwalk that lead us onto the underside of the bridge above the Sydney Harbor. At this point I was already starting to sweat a little thinking what did I get myself into. But as we progressed I kept telling myself "its no biggie, you're latched in, and if you did the highest bungy in the world come on this is a peice of cake. OO shit don't look down"

Everyonce in awhile i would feel this overwhelming fealing across my entire body as I peered below my feet through the catwalk to the Harbor below.
The sites on the climb were absolutely amazing. I could see the Opera House and we were so lucky to have the "Dawn Princess" cruise ship pass under the bridge just as we were on the catwalk. These cruise ships clear the bridge by a merely 1 meter and so that was quite a site to see.
After the initial fears and random feelings of 'what am I doing!' we started on the journey up to the top of the bridge.

Our guide told us great stories of how people died making the bridge, the first and only bunjy jump in New South Wales, Australia in which a supermodel jumped off the bridge and they miscalculated the length of the cord which led her to hit her face on the water. That surely hurt and led to thousands of dollars in surgery before she could model again.

We stopped randomly to take pictures and it was a little sad that everyone was paired up taking pictures in twos while I would step up on my own, but I did own up to it and had some great poses. I did try to climb up the railing to take a picture but was told that it wasn't allowed (what rubbish!).

The top of the bridge was awesome with clear 360 views of the harbor and again we were lucky to see a proposal. One guy was proposing on the top of the bridge in the other group and it was pretty awesome to see that go down. The transfer of the rings itself is interested as they have several bands that are attached to your hand and then you have to transfer them to your new fiance's hand.
The walk back was equally great. All in all the climb was awesome and in some respects I was glad that I was off the bridge and back on solid land where I can't fall 70 meters if I trip. (as I can be quite clumsy).

The rest of the day was equally awesome. After the climb I jumped on the train and walked to the University of Sydney to meet up with a professor there. We talked about a possible collaboration for a PhD program while I work in the United States and I got a full tour of all the labs, facilities, and a quick tour of the University highlights. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful and is remniscent of cambridge university.

One thing I noticed in Australia is that they have an abundance of trees and greenery all over the city. But there is one tree that is everywhere and today I found out that it is because it is a native tree to Australia. I forgot the name but it is a very large and beautiful tree that flowers purple. The entire tree is covered in purple flowers only and these large trees polk a dot the dense green trees adding great color to the city.

After a nice visit with the University of Sydney I hoped back on the train and headed to the Sydney Opera House to watch Julius Cesar. I booked a play at the opera house and before the show I grabbed dinner and dessert on the harbor and topped off the meal with a few glasses of red wine. The show was interesting, I learned I am not a huge fan of plays but nonetheless it was great to see a show in the Opera House and perhaps if I was not jetlagged and under the influence of 4 glasses of wine, which were very full glass I might add, I may have enjoyed it more.

After the show I walked around the Harbor at night and then took the last ferry back to Darling Harbor. This was the first time I saw the Harbor by nightlight and it was great.

One thing I forgot to mention, was that today was the Melbourne Cup. And if there was ever a sporting event to celebrate in Australia it was this one. The Melbourne Cup is a horserace and the day of the race is actually a big holiday. As I walked out from my bridge climb I noticed that all the bars and restaurants were adorned with flowers and balloons. Men dressed in crisp suits and neatly pressed ties and on their elbows women dressed in their Sunday best with fancy dresses, fancy shoes, and hair garments and hats. It was as if I had walked into a royal party. The celebrations for the Melbourne Cup carried on well into the late night with clubs on the Harbor bustling with nightlife and overflowing with wine and the expensive liquors.

It was quite an eventful last day in Sydney.

The internet connection in NZ right now isn't very good so my blogs may be without pictures for awhile till I get good connection.


2nd November 2011

Rock climbing
So you climbed to the top of that bridge? Man, we used to rock climb shit. How you scared of 70 meters, dawg?
3rd November 2011

Nice HIMYM reference

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