Cross that bridge

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A view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Pylon Lookout. Note groups of climbers on either side. Photo: Lichtenstein

We gave you this assignment: name a bridge (outside of the USA) that, for whatever reasons, is exciting to cross. Tell where it is (and, if necessary, how to find it) and approximately when you were there. Did you cross it on foot? By car? By train? Include your impressions.

We printed responses in the March, April, June and August 2010 issues. Here are a few more. Have one to add? Write to Cross That Bridge, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (include the address at which you receive ITN).

My husband, Alan, and I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia on Dec. 22, 2009, with BridgeClimb Sydney (3 Cumberland St., The Rocks, Sydney, Australia; phone 61 [0] 2 8274 7777, www.bridgeclimb.com). It cost US$198 per person.

It’s advertised as “the climb of your life” and it lived up to its promise, presenting magnificent views of the harbor, the Opera House, Luna Park and even the Blue Mountains in the distance, not to mention the magnificent inner structure of the bridge.

Alan and Arlene Lichtenstein atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: BridgeClimb

The climb, itself, was not as challenging as it first appeared. We were always attached to a cable and never had to unhook and rehook. Our jumpsuits, hats, etc., were supplied by BridgeClimb.

The views were so beautiful and the guide’s commentary so interesting that the climb of 1,472 steps in 2½ hours, up one side of the bridge, across the top and down the opposite side, just went so fast.

Our guide maintained an easy pace and stopped occasionally for the superb views and picture taking (by him of us and of the group; we were not allowed to take cameras or anything that could possibly fall on the cars below) or to allow people at the end of our group of 15 to catch up.

The hardest part of the climb was up four long ladders at the beginning and down four long ladders at the end, but it was not really that hard and definitely was worth the effort.

Feeling exhilarated and so proud of ourselves, we treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner in The Rocks district before walking back to our hotel near Circular Quay.

Arlene Lichtenstein

Commack, NY

The night lights of Sydney framing Janice Kolbaska and Don Klein in 2006.

Climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the sun sets over the city is breathtaking!

Climbers are each supplied with a full-body jumpsuit, a knit cap, gloves, a headlamp and, by the time you get down, a lot of memories. You are tethered to the railing and climb slowly, but rather quickly you arrive at the top.

It’s worth having a blustery chilly November wind in your face to see the views of the Opera House, the ferry landing and the lights of the city.

Janice Kolbaska

Mt. Prospect, IL

View from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon looking east at a cruise ship being escorted by a pilot boat to open ocean; at a Sydney ferry, and at the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Rychner

If the very expensive and time-consuming Harbour Bridge Climb is not for you, here’s a great and largely underused alternative: the Pylon Lookout (www.pylonlookout.

com.au). (Note: neither is accessible for the mobility impaired.)

The southeastern pylon (tower), one of the four pylons that anchor the bridge, is open to the public and provides a fabulous 360-degree view from almost 300 feet above sea level, plus it contains interesting exhibits about the incredible construction of the “Southern Hemisphere’s largest coathanger,” as the bridge is lovingly called.

Getting there involves climbing quite a few stairs. First, walk up Argyle Street in The Rocks, then climb the murky-looking Argyle Stairs (on the right by the underpass and quite safe). Once up on Cumberland Street, cross over and take the next set of (covered) stairs up to the sloping walkway heading north, ending up on the bridge sidewalk by the roaring bridge traffic. You can see the pylon ahead.

Enter to your right and climb the interior stairs; there is no lift. You’ll pay up on the first landing — AUD9.50 (near US$8.75) adult, AUD6.50 senior or AUD4 child.

Lorenz Rychner

Denver, CO

Man standing on the pylon observation deck with the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind him. Photo: Olander

I had always wanted to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In December ’09 I spent four nights in Sydney and placed the walk on my “to do” list.

On my first full day in Sydney I took an all-day “hop-on/hop-off” bus tour. This tour crosses the bridge, and one of the stops is Milsons Point in North Sydney. After taking the full tour and having lunch, I decided to walk the bridge.

One of the bus drivers offered a good suggestion: walk over the bridge and then board the bus at Milsons Point to recross the bridge. I also wanted to visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout.

First I went to the Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre (3 Cumberland St., The Rocks, Sydney; www.bridge climb.com), where you can book the bridge climb. The cost for climbing the Harbour Bridge is AUD188 to AUD258 (US$183-$251), depending on the type of climb chosen, and it can take two to four hours. I didn’t want anything that elaborate or expensive.

Of the four bridge pylons, the southeastern pylon has a lookout over the harbor and city. This is called the Original Sydney Lookout due to its position as the highest viewing point when the bridge opened.

I paid AUD6.50 (senior rate) for access to the observation deck — a climb of 200 steps from the pedestrian walkway. Along the way there are three levels of exhibits about the bridge’s construction.

View from the ferryboat, showing the bridge (note ant-like climbers starting up on top), the pylons and, in the distance, the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Olander

The views from the open observation deck are excellent. This is a place to bring your camera. The narrow observation deck walkway is outdoors and you’re shielded from the wind by a waist-high balcony topped with a foot-high clear-plastic barrier. The observation deck is almost as high as the top of the bridge but more easily accessible.

At the top is a gift shop! A young lady working there said that every day she made the walk to the tower and climbed the steps to the top.

Upon returning to the pedestrian walkway, I walked across the bridge (down near road level) and took the tour bus back to central Sydney as suggested.

This is a great walk. The views from the bridge are spectacular. You have outstanding views of the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and Circular Quay. The day I did this, the temperature was 75ºF, with a wonderful breeze — perfect.

When you get to the north side, in Kirribilli, there are shops and cafés — a great spot to relax and admire the bridge.

James F. Olander

Arlington, VA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.
A view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Pylon Lookout. Note groups of climbers on either side. Photo: Lichtenstein

We gave you this assignment: name a bridge (outside of the USA) that, for whatever reasons, is exciting to cross. Tell where it is (and, if necessary, how to find it) and approximately when you were there. Did you cross it on foot? By car? By train? Include your impressions.

We printed responses in the March, April, June and August 2010 issues. Here are a few more. Have one to add? Write to Cross That Bridge, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (include the address at which you receive ITN).

My husband, Alan, and I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia on Dec. 22, 2009, with BridgeClimb Sydney (3 Cumberland St., The Rocks, Sydney, Australia; phone 61 [0] 2 8274 7777, www.bridgeclimb.com). It cost US$198 per person.

It’s advertised as “the climb of your life” and it lived up to its promise, presenting magnificent views of the harbor, the Opera House, Luna Park and even the Blue Mountains in the distance, not to mention the magnificent inner structure of the bridge.

Alan and Arlene Lichtenstein atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: BridgeClimb

The climb, itself, was not as challenging as it first appeared. We were always attached to a cable and never had to unhook and rehook. Our jumpsuits, hats, etc., were supplied by BridgeClimb.

The views were so beautiful and the guide’s commentary so interesting that the climb of 1,472 steps in 2½ hours, up one side of the bridge, across the top and down the opposite side, just went so fast.

Our guide maintained an easy pace and stopped occasionally for the superb views and picture taking (by him of us and of the group; we were not allowed to take cameras or anything that could possibly fall on the cars below) or to allow people at the end of our group of 15 to catch up.

The hardest part of the climb was up four long ladders at the beginning and down four long ladders at the end, but it was not really that hard and definitely was worth the effort.

Feeling exhilarated and so proud of ourselves, we treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner in The Rocks district before walking back to our hotel near Circular Quay.

Arlene Lichtenstein

Commack, NY

The night lights of Sydney framing Janice Kolbaska and Don Klein in 2006.

Climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the sun sets over the city is breathtaking!

Climbers are each supplied with a full-body jumpsuit, a knit cap, gloves, a headlamp and, by the time you get down, a lot of memories. You are tethered to the railing and climb slowly, but rather quickly you arrive at the top.

It’s worth having a blustery chilly November wind in your face to see the views of the Opera House, the ferry landing and the lights of the city.

Janice Kolbaska

Mt. Prospect, IL

View from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon looking east at a cruise ship being escorted by a pilot boat to open ocean; at a Sydney ferry, and at the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Rychner

If the very expensive and time-consuming Harbour Bridge Climb is not for you, here’s a great and largely underused alternative: the Pylon Lookout (www.pylonlookout.

com.au). (Note: neither is accessible for the mobility impaired.)

The southeastern pylon (tower), one of the four pylons that anchor the bridge, is open to the public and provides a fabulous 360-degree view from almost 300 feet above sea level, plus it contains interesting exhibits about the incredible construction of the “Southern Hemisphere’s largest coathanger,” as the bridge is lovingly called.

Getting there involves climbing quite a few stairs. First, walk up Argyle Street in The Rocks, then climb the murky-looking Argyle Stairs (on the right by the underpass and quite safe). Once up on Cumberland Street, cross over and take the next set of (covered) stairs up to the sloping walkway heading north, ending up on the bridge sidewalk by the roaring bridge traffic. You can see the pylon ahead.

Enter to your right and climb the interior stairs; there is no lift. You’ll pay up on the first landing — AUD9.50 (near US$8.75) adult, AUD6.50 senior or AUD4 child.

Lorenz Rychner

Denver, CO

Man standing on the pylon observation deck with the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind him. Photo: Olander

I had always wanted to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In December ’09 I spent four nights in Sydney and placed the walk on my “to do” list.

On my first full day in Sydney I took an all-day “hop-on/hop-off” bus tour. This tour crosses the bridge, and one of the stops is Milsons Point in North Sydney. After taking the full tour and having lunch, I decided to walk the bridge.

One of the bus drivers offered a good suggestion: walk over the bridge and then board the bus at Milsons Point to recross the bridge. I also wanted to visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout.

First I went to the Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre (3 Cumberland St., The Rocks, Sydney; www.bridge climb.com), where you can book the bridge climb. The cost for climbing the Harbour Bridge is AUD188 to AUD258 (US$183-$251), depending on the type of climb chosen, and it can take two to four hours. I didn’t want anything that elaborate or expensive.

Of the four bridge pylons, the southeastern pylon has a lookout over the harbor and city. This is called the Original Sydney Lookout due to its position as the highest viewing point when the bridge opened.

I paid AUD6.50 (senior rate) for access to the observation deck — a climb of 200 steps from the pedestrian walkway. Along the way there are three levels of exhibits about the bridge’s construction.

View from the ferryboat, showing the bridge (note ant-like climbers starting up on top), the pylons and, in the distance, the Sydney Opera House. Photo: Olander

The views from the open observation deck are excellent. This is a place to bring your camera. The narrow observation deck walkway is outdoors and you’re shielded from the wind by a waist-high balcony topped with a foot-high clear-plastic barrier. The observation deck is almost as high as the top of the bridge but more easily accessible.

At the top is a gift shop! A young lady working there said that every day she made the walk to the tower and climbed the steps to the top.

Upon returning to the pedestrian walkway, I walked across the bridge (down near road level) and took the tour bus back to central Sydney as suggested.

This is a great walk. The views from the bridge are spectacular. You have outstanding views of the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and Circular Quay. The day I did this, the temperature was 75ºF, with a wonderful breeze — perfect.

When you get to the north side, in Kirribilli, there are shops and cafés — a great spot to relax and admire the bridge.

James F. Olander

Arlington, VA