The Sydney Harbour Bridge is not just an iconic structure that can be photographed and talked about… you can actually climb it to the top. Yes, be 134 metres above the city of Sydney. This is an amazing experience… though the cost starts from 208 Australian dollars and can go up to around 300 AuDs.
There are many who’d want to go and climb just the pylon which is high enough though probably not as adventurous as the actual arch climb.
What did I do? Well, I climbed the Pylon and then took a lot of pictures of other tourists who had opted for the bridge climb. The top of the Pylon is high enough and one can get a lot of lovely pictures of the city, the Opera House, and even the bridge! Had I opted to climb the arch of the bridge, I’d have had to leave my personal belongings back and this includes the camera! I personally think this was what made me opt out of the bridge climb… and no, it wasn’t the daunting climb fee surely!
The Pylon is the concrete structure that supports the arch and there are four of them… the best thing is that you get to read all about the history of the bridge when you reach the top of the Pylon. There is a small audi too where you can sit and enjoy a short film on the making of the bridge. And lastly, of course, the souvenir shop here is a small cute area where you can buy the usual fridge magnets, key-chains, koalas and kangaroos!
Climbing up was a small group of school students and their teacher – I wouldn’t know if he was their history teacher – but he was explaining the importance of the artefacts displayed and was doing it with so much involvement and energy that I just stood there and listened to his monologue! This was probably the best history lecture I’ve ever attended in all my life. I almost wished then that all history teachers were like him and that all our school kids too went on discovery visits with the kind of seriousness that I noticed in the kids there.
But let us get back to the climbing of the bridge… yes, it is steep and you naturally have to be in top shape to opt for it. Even the Pylon climb is pretty exhausting but you tend to go up the stairs from within the building and get to see the sights only once you’re at the top. The Pylon top has a convenient metal bench running all along the length and breadth of the boundary and you can climb it for getting the best angles while clicking the bridge, the city, or the Opera House. There is protective glass above the wall so don’t even think of leaning out to see how fast the Sydney traffic goes!
When I explained all this to my wife, she asked, ‘Hmmm, anything else associated with the bridge that is interesting?’
‘Not that I can remember,’ I said.
‘There are people who plan to get married on top of the bridge… and that must be breath-taking and charming!’ She then looked at me with that victorious smile that clearly states that she has been reading all the connected websites!
I admitted that I was busy exploring Sydney in person and had, therefore, not read as much as her.
‘Lovely pictures,’ she murmured, and then turned towards me and said, ‘I think we’ll climb the bridge arch together some time in the future!’
Now that’s the best suggestion anyone could ever have put forward… and I nodded in agreement, hoping that Expedia top bosses would think of send the two of us for a deeper exploration of this continent!
This blog post has been contributed by Arvind Passey on his travel to Australia. Read more about Arvind at http://passey.info/