xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Oct 28 12:16 AM
Oct 28, 2009: Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge, like the Opera House, has been a famous icon recognized around the world, since 1932.
I've not been there, but having driven other famous bridges like the Brooklyn, Golden Gate, or Chesapeake Bay, experience tells me when crossing that bridge, people probably wouldn't have a chance of seeing much, except the cars & trucks around them.
But Sunday that changed. No cars or trucks, just green grass, a few cows, and 6,000 people.
Hmmm, £400,000, and 4.2 million people inconvenienced (it's a long way around). I think more importantly, even though only 190,000 tried to win tickets, actually 4.2 million people were excluded from the festivities. Seems like 6,000 (plus probably 1,000 politically connected) is a pretty small group to benefit from all that work and money. Instead of 6,000 picnicking and chatting with each other, let more people walk across, enjoying the views and taking pictures for a half hour... or something.
The aerial view of the bridge a scene like never before with freshly laid grass, grazing cows and hundreds of families enjoying a picnic breakfast.
The forecast rain was thankfully held off and people turned out to enjoy croissants, sausages, bacon eggs and coffee - with a stunning view across the water to the Opera House.
Many who were not among the lucky ticket-holders drawn from a ballot of 190,000 people to take part in the unique gathering still turned up at each end of the bridge.
They gaze at the spectacle of cows grazing on 10,000 square yards of turfed grass that had been laid over the tarmac.
It was such a historic event that local man Sid Elias used the occasion to propose to his girlfriend. And they have agreed that if the 'Breakfast on the Bridge' became an annual event they'll return each time.
To add to the occasion, musicians strolled among the families - who included one couple who brought their four-week-old baby along - playing accordions and trumpets, while a honky-tonk piano player bashed out happy melodies.
New South Wales government officials estimated the cost of laying on the unique event cost around £400,000 - but agreed it was worth it.
Wonder what they did with that 10,000 square yards of turf?
JuancoRocks Wednesday Oct 28 02:16 AM
Contented cows, a marriage proposal and jumping girls. Who could ask for more?
Aliantha Wednesday Oct 28 02:26 AM
There's a tunnel under the harbour that plenty of people could use instead of the bridge, in fact, it's more popular these days.
I think the people of Sydney are used to the bridge being unavailable anyway. One smash and it's history for some time.
xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Oct 28 03:15 AM
OK, thanks. So it's not so much an inconvenience, just a big expensive party for a few people.
SPUCK Wednesday Oct 28 06:19 AM
Yeah! Talk about lame.. I totally agree Bruce.
nil_orally Wednesday Oct 28 08:22 AM
It's only Sydney. Nuke it from space.
wolf Wednesday Oct 28 09:31 AM
Some politician is quoted as saying "it was worth it." Worth it for what? And it might become an annual event?
Why did they do this other than some drunk Aussie said, "Oi, you think we could cover the bridge in turf and graze some cows on it?" Or did someone lose a bet?
At least there's a reason for dyeing the Chicago River every year.
I should be fined for overuse of question marks.
xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Oct 28 10:46 AM
Well, it looks like a good party, I just think it could have been more inclusive. But I guess if opened it up too much, it would look like a Toyko subway at rush hour.
Originally Posted by SPUCK
Yeah! Talk about lame.. I totally agree Bruce.
birdclaw Wednesday Oct 28 11:16 AM
So let me get this straight, this wasn't a benefit for anything? Green space awareness, dingo fence extension, tourist attraction? Just a party for the lucky few? Seems like a waste to me.
xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Oct 28 11:24 AM
Publicity, tourism, attracting attention to Sydney and the bridge.
Maybe enticing people to take the multi-hour guided tours?
Aliantha Wednesday Oct 28 04:43 PM
The event was part of the Crave Festival which the people of Sydney seem to enjoy. We have a similar one here in Brisbane called the River Festival. We don't block off our bridges, but the government does pay for a fantastic fireworks display which I'm betting costs more than the bridge excercise in Sydney.
Most cities do things like this in the name of entertainment or tourism or a bit of both, and let's face it, regardless of whether you think it was a good or bad idea, it's got people all over the world talking about Sydney.
It was a lucky dip. People got to register for the event and then the lucky names were pulled out of a hat, so anyone who wanted to go had an equal chance of being there. Seems pretty fair to me. They didn't have to pay to register. Better than any raffle I've paid to be in. So a lot of people didn't win. Better luck next year maybe.
Gravdigr Wednesday Oct 28 06:10 PM
Wrong kind of grass...
casimendocina Thursday Nov 5 07:04 AM
It's possible to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge almost anytime and the view is fantastic. Taking a train which uses the Bridge to get to the North Shore is also really worthwhile.
Kris Thursday Nov 5 11:47 AM
My wife and I did the bridge climb last year... an amazing experience!
Once your over the nerves (and the realization there's no bathroom breaks for three hours), all is well
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Nov 5 11:58 AM
Thanks Kris, that answers my question. The pictures in the bridge climb gallery shows everyone wearing the same thing, so I wondered if they were all guides, or they supplied clothing.
Kris Thursday Nov 5 12:06 PM
Yep - they supplied it all.
They have a bit of a process before you even step foot in/on/under the bridge.
The first step is to walk you by the bathrooms with a ton of signs warning of the 3-hours until you see them again
You then sit in a room and sign a waver. At this point, all climbers are also given a breathalyzer test.
Following the breathalyzer, you move onto changing rooms. All necklaces, earrings, etc. must be removed. Lockers are provided and the key either wrapped around the neck or the hand.
After the cover up, other equipment was put on - the harness, ear phones, etc. Also provided (if necessary) was a poncho - they run pretty much regardless of weather.
Once the group was completely equipped, they run you through a mock course - showing you how to move on the static line, how to get yourself out of a bind if your line tangles, as well as how to handle several of the stairs/ladders. Some of the stairs are so steep that nailing the front of your ankle on the steel is possible (and painful).
You start out under the roadway and gradually make your way to the towers. The tower is when you start the 4-story-ish ascent that leads you to the top of the bridge. This is also where the stairs are at their worst, and the sound of passing trains and cars is concerning
At the top - amazing views, especially at sunset.
Kris Thursday Nov 5 12:08 PM
...oh yea, and the uniform: they said the colouring scheme is meant to camouflage. They want to avoid any drivers below from distraction.
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Nov 5 12:20 PM
And make it harder to pee on them.
classicman Thursday Nov 5 08:51 PM
fixed that for ya.
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
And make it harder to see the pee in them.
Your reply here?
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