Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reaching new Heights!

Well, see if you can guess what I did today. Shouldn't be too hard, you've probably already looked at the pictures rather than reading what I've written here.

The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge

That's right, it turns out that not only can you go to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but you can also climb all over it.

The arch, in the insert you can see one of the many groups that walk on the bridge

Obviously, for safety reasons you can't have loads of loose items being carted around by distracted tourists above a major city thoroughfare, so personal items (which includes cameras and mobiles) are not allowed. Dropping an expensive camera is bad, but dropping it onto the windscreen of an 18-wheeler in heavy traffic is really bad. I'm a tad upset that personal cameras aren't allowed since there are loads of little things on the bridge itself that I'd rather take photos of. But we must follow the rules. Or bend them when nobody is looking.

What I did was to go down in the morning and do the whole climb, go back to the apartment and then return to the bridge with my camera. Obviously I couldn't get back up onto the bridge itself and take all the really interesting photos that I wanted to take, but I was able to take some more down in the open areas.

One of the bases of the bridge

That's one of the bases of the pylons that support the whole structure. I love those massive bolts and the whole engineering aspect of the whole thing. There isn't anything for scale (if I had my tripod I'd have jumped into the picture) but those bolts are thicker than my leg.

The bridge deck below

That's the view of the roadway as seen from one of the towers on the south end of the bridge. They look dead solid, but they are actually hollow and mainly for decorative effect rather than any "proper" purpose. The extra weight does help anchor the ends, but they could have done the same job with solid concrete one third the volume. But it's prettier this way.

It's a fairly rigorous climb, about two and a bit hours on the structure itself and another hour or so of pre-work (getting gear on, learning the safety rules, etc) so overall it's about a half-day activity. With my running back and forth, it ended up being the whole day.

I'm fairly tall, and there are several really narrow and cramped bits where you really need to scrunch down to get through. And you do work up a bit of a sweat, even with the gentle pace. It's about the equivalent of being on the 40th floor when you're at the top so it's a bit of a climb.

And of course, gotta do the big touristy pose:

Yay, the tourist. Me at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you want more info or are in Sydney and want to do the bridge climb yourself, check out Bridgeclimb and have a go. I recomend it!


Dandy Andy said...

Looks sweet! Well done.

Jayec said...

Isn't it Awsome. My wife and I completed the climb in September last year.

Myzteriouz1 said...

Congrats mate. It's some very nice shots, and coming from a Photographic standpoint I would've killed to be up there with a good camera :(