Sydney Australia

Sydney from above, below and beyond the bridge

Sunday started with heavenly weather, clear sky, warm breezes and sun on my face. A perfect day for a walking tour of the city. What was even more perfect is that I found a local guide with the words I’M FREE printed on his bright green shirt. These daily tours start at 10:30am and go for about three hours, and by the end I felt like I was a local. I must have looked like one too, since a few people asked me for directions later. We hit many of the major Sydney sites and learned a bit about its history in a non-pretentious way. The tour was a perfect blend of knowledge and wit, and the guide even gave me tips for my upcoming tour of China!

I was so inspired by this walking tour that I decided to venture off even more and take some of the advice I received from both the guide and other travlers. First, I was told that just about the only thing you can do for free at the opera house is use their tiolets, so that’s just what I did. I got to see the amazing architecture up close, inside and out. The bathrooms were lovely as well.

Then I followed other instruction to walk to the far side of the botanical gardens to get a wonderful view of the bridge and house together (see photo above). Along my walk I strolled by picnicers, sunbathers and wedding parties galore.

I had time to wander around the open air markets in The Rocks area, which are held every weekend, and a great place to go for local food, fashion and art. By this time my legs started to question my sanity, but I still had more trekking to do, only this time I would take it to the next level, birdseye level.

At first I wasn’t so worried about the Bridge Climb. I’ve heard from several people how great it was, and that I had nothing to worry about. So when I was put through several stages of preparation (paper signing, breatilizer, uniforms and safety gear) I started to wonder what I got myself into. I went through more prep to walk over a bridge than I did to jump off one. I was greatful for the prep though. They equiped us with warm bridge climbing attire that was the same color as the bridge so we didn’t distract any drivers below. Then we were attached to a rope that lined the bridge, useful for keeping us on the bridge and going in the right direction. I was the lucky one to get stuck in the back of the line. After I stumbled once in the beginning, I was first glad that no one saw it, but then a little worried that no one would notice if I was gone. Thankfully, as the climb progressed I gained my bridge climbing legs and my worries faded.

This climb is really like nothing else I have ever experienced, or probably will ever experience again. Even though the clouds rolled in once we reached the summit the view was priceless. Bubby always said that rain meant good luck, and I felt extremely lucky to be standing over Sydney Harbor looking down at all the neighboring islands as the heavens spritzed its luck down on us.

Yesterday was quite a day, so much so that I was too exhausted to blog about it! So now you get two for one so I can catch you up.

Today was the tour of the blue mountains. Truthfully, I was too tired to notice if they were truly blue or not, but I’ll download the photos later and let you decide.

The day had a similar feel to the tour of milford sound, since I was completly immersed in nature. There were more waterfalls and rolling hills, sharp cliffs and cloud covered mountain tops. Instead of a cruise, our mode of transport was a series of cable cars and trains that took us up and down steep inclines, almost like a rollarcoaster, only slower. We also went in search of some kangaroos, but all I saw were a bunch of native birds. All in all it was another fantastic day in nature with more commentary on history along the way. I am looking forward to a lazy day on the beach tomorrow though. No guides, no schedule, just me taking in all I can on my last day in Sydney.

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