SYDNEY - with a population of approx 4 million, the whole of Australia has a population of approx. 20 million, by contrast with the 18 million residents of London!! The UK in terms of size though can fit into the area of Australia 20.5 times....the bits of info I pick up!
An over-night bus trip from Melbourne with a nutter left me tired on arrival in Sydney and then having to wait a further 7 hours until the hostel would let me check in got me a slight bit annoyed! So a moody myself headed off to sleep on Bondi Beach, and soon everything picked up! Ran into Heidi and Shawn from S America trip by coincidence, and sat watching the surfers playing in the water until the sun went down.
The next day was much more productive with Melissa having the day off, so we drove up to visit the beaches north of Sydney and saw Palm Beach where Home and Away is filmed and swam in the sea, despite there being no sun! Oh, that was after having breakfasted at Trio's on the most delicious bircher muesli, and then dined out again later in Bondi - so Melissa's suggestion of a run the next morning was well called for. So for 3 mornings Melissa and I met at 0700 for a run along the beach as the sun rose - felt very virtuous!!
The Sydney Harbour Bridge climb was a bit of an extravagance but being a civil engineer how could I possibly not do it?? Having been suited up and taught to walk with our harnesses we set out for the 1400 step climb, which took us up the top arch to the centre and down the other side. The view was fantastic especially of the City and Opera House. That evening I drank at the Opera Bar, not surprisingly close to the Opera House, with Harriet, Lindsay, Joanna and Lucy (from Bristol Uni).
A trip to Manly for lunch with Ed and Emma was a great catch-up and I met Little Grace who is gorgeous!
Was supposed to go kayaking around the Sydney Harbour to Shark Island, but rain, yes RAIN, put a stop to all that - trip was cancelled so I started the walk to Coogee along the coastal path, but that too was cut short because of the weather.
Friday, and I took a ferry over to Drummoyne to be met by Shannon (S America). We headed out to explore her local, which she had not yet sampled, but moved on having seen how empty it was! Andrew, her boyfriend was also there. Next day was sailing in Sydney Harbour on bill's yacht!! Yes, was very pleased to be able to pose around, although spent lots of time trying to duck out of the way as this was an important race to ensure a good position in the seasons competition. There were so many boats racing and it was such a good way to have a fantastic view of the bridge and opera House - unfortunately didn't take my camera for which I am kicking myself...
A trip to Chatswood, saw lunch with Rachel (lived with me at Uni) and her husband Sam. Unfortunately timings were such that they had just been away for 16 days on holiday, so our catch-up was just short, but none-the-less a great treat for my last day in Sydney before heading to the Blue Mountains.
THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE: (or should it correctly be Port Jackson Bridge??)
The chosen design was a 2-hinged steel arch with 5 approach spans at each end and 4 pylons. At 1149m long with a 49m wide deck it was estimated to cost the Government 4,217,722 British pounds. Reasons for choosing this design include that a steel arch would provide the strength, stability and rigidity needed to accommodate 4 railway lines, 6 roadways and 2 footbridges. This bridge's capacity was an estimated 160 trains, 6,000 vehicles and 40,000 pedestrians per hour - great planning for future expansion!
This design reflects the influence of New York's strong and handsome Hell Gate Bridge. Some quick facts are:
- Uses 52,800 tonnes of steel (39,000 tonnes within the arch)
- Is the largest and heaviest ever built bridge but Bayonne Bridge is 63cm longer
- It expends 180mm at the top of the arch due to temperature changes
- Uses 17,000m3 granite (this is for aesthetics only around the pylons)
- Uses 95,000m3 concrete in construction. The concrete of the pylons was hand-mixed and so pylon construction took 2.5 years of 2 men mixing concrete!
- Pylons are 89m high but non-structural, only to make the bridge look more impressive but have no purpose!
- 16 men died during its 9-year construction from 1923-32
- 6 million rivets were used in erection and joining of the parts
Originally the bridge was designed with a 7 year life expectancy - following recent structural assessment this has been increased to over 200 years