15th Jan 2012 - 25th Jan 2012 So I turned 24 in Sydney on the 21-1-12 my 'Hannah' date, hmm interesting- get it? I don't know if there is a different word for a number Palindrome. Anyway that's enough about that and here's more about me...
My birthday celebrations started a week early when we climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We had both really wanted to do it and thought my birthday would make it special. We asked our concierge boss if he could wangle a discount- if we went on my birthday it would be $250 each. If we went on the Monday before it was $0 each! So of course we were very thankful and took the free tickets!
So we arrived in the rain at Cumberland Street in The Rocks and got put in groups, got a breathalyser test , filled out disclaimer, tried on our grey onesies, got to know the rest of the group. We then got all kitted out with harness and radio then climbed a trial ladder which was fine, then we were out side- and by this time the rain had just stopped (I have never been so grateful) and out we went onto a narrow metal grated floor, and you could see straight down I started to panic but the floor was only like that for a minute until we reached the pylon then we started climbing stairs and ladders (which we popped up through lanes of traffic) and then we were on the start of the arch. The sun was shining and the views amazing. Our guide was very experienced and she kept talking to us the whole way, telling us facts about Sydney, the opera house, the harbour, surrounding areas and of course the building of the bridge. It was great walking up the arch of the bridge, and it felt completely safe even with only a little harness and lock attached to the railings. We got our photos taken at the top and marvelled at the sights. I felt so lucky to be standing on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge!
Some bridge facts- it's the largest single span bridge in the world. It's 503 metres long, 134 metres high and 49 metres wide. Flanked by four granite pylons ( which actually do not support the bridge at all). The weight of the steelwork alone totals 52,800 tonnes and includes an extraordinary 6 million rivets. It opened in March 1932. It's the crucial centre piece of Sydney's transport network with lanes for vehicles, trains, pedestrians and a cycle path.
We heard how one worker fell from the bridge heading straight to his death until a hammer fell from his tool bag and hit the water first, therefore saving his life as the water had rippled. Surprisingly not many workers died during the construction- even though there was no safety gear or railings!
The Bridge Climb was fantastic and such a great experience. We bought the photos and received a certificate, then we went to a pub on the rocks for lunch. We were so happy we managed to pay nothing for the experience too!
On the 21st January we woke up early and I unwrapped my great presents and gifts, and opened my cards. My mum and dad skyped from Tenerife at midnight which was lovely and also got to speak to Shannon's family too. Also got wine from work but we drank that as soon as I received it. Read my facebook messages too which were lovely. Shannon spoiled me with pancakes and flowers before we headed to Darling Harbour to check out the Lindt Cafe. Shan had chocolate milkshake and I had coconut iced chocolate was yummy.
We also passed by China Town and seen some streets that had been painted in lovely blue flowers for their Chinese New Year. (we had a Chinese during the week to help celebrate new year). After our milkshakes we headed to The Rocks and had a quick beer in a very old pub the Captain Cook then had dinner at Fish At The Rocks. I used to say I didn't like fish but quite liked shell fish, but Shannon keeps telling me to eat more fish and be adventurous so I was- we had the shared platter with prawns, mussels, smoked salmon (my fave), and scallops. Then had Barramundi (Oz fish), salmon, trout and more and we both enjoyed it.
After dinner we stumbled upon a pub I have really wanted to go to, called The Lord Nelson. It is Sydney's oldest hotel and they brew their own beer which we tried. I had '3 Sheets' and Shan tried 'Old Admiral', both went down a treat. Afterwards we finished my birthday by taking a stroll through The Rocks and found a lookout point so sat there watching twinkling lights of North Sydney, boats in the harbour and the amazing Harbour Bridge.