Saturday, April 17, 2010

Australia Day 11 - A good day to climb a bridge

Today was the highlight of the Outback Adventure ... we walked across the Sydney Harbor Bridge!

After walking around a street market in the morning and buying a few souvenirs we headed to the Bridge Climb. I knew this was a popular tourist activity, but I never thought it would such an efficient operation. They have tours going all day, every 10-15 minutes, with 10 people in each climb group! Apparently the hefty price tag doesn't discourage other adventurers. Each person is set up with cover-alls, head sets, a friendly tour guide, and a 10 minute safety walkthrough. After that it's a 3 hour walk around the top of the bridge.

The views are obviously incredible, but they won't let you take your camera ... for "safety" reasons. Of course they're happy to SELL you pictures at the end of the trip. Regardless it was worth the price of admission. It was not as difficult a climb as I thought it would be. And I was strapped in at all times and never felt at all unsafe. Definitely a great experience (even if everyone and their mother also went on this climb).

After eating dinner, we took in a rugby match. The entire trip I saw rugby and Aussie rules Football all over TV. They make American's obsession with the NFL look tame. I didn't know the rules or how to tell which sport was which. But it was entertaining. After a week and a half I had figured it out enough that we decided to see a game in person. Besides, football and rugby are much more exciting than cricket which would have been our only other option.

The game was fun, but the real adventure was getting to the stadium. We took the train to the central station and had to walk a couple of miles. When the stadium was in sight we were walking through a park. It was dark and a little spooky. I kept hearing weird noises when out of no where a great flying beast came swooping in to attack. I naturally threw my wife in the way of danger to save myself. Thankfully we were both unharmed but I was rattled and my wife was angry that I tried to use her as a human shield.

We had been admiring these bats feeding at dusk from our hotel balcony the night before. Come to find out these are actually quite a nuisance to the city of Sydney and apparently also a threat to young American married couples. They are called flying foxes and that name is probably very appropriate.

Regardless we survived and enjoyed a rugby match. The end to another great day.

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