Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

East Coast Travels - Sydney 3

To view my other Sydney posts, click here!

Day 3: On the third day we woke up nice and early again and took the train to Bondi Beach. Bondi Beach is Sydney’s most famous beach. We took the train from Central Station to Bondi Junction from platform 24. The train goes pretty often so it’s very convenient. We only paid $10 for two return tickets and the train took about 15 minutes. From Bondi Junction we took bus 333 to the beach. The station is very easy to navigate, and there are tons of signs showing how to go to the beach. We bought a prepaid ticket which cost us $2.30 each for a single ticket. The beach is really beautiful, the beach is in a bay surrounded by grassy areas and the promenade. The sand was beautifully white and the ocean was a perfect blue, and was quite a nice temperature. We didn’t go for a swim, but did walk through the water. There were quite a few surfers which really emphasized the Australian beach.

After sitting on the beach we walked along the promenade, and had some lunch of the grass surrounding the beach. We then went back into the city, got changed, and walked to the Harbour Bridge for our Bridge Climb!! Way back when we first decided to go to Australia, I made a list of all the things I want to see and do while being here, and the Harbour Climb was on that list! It was extremely exciting to do it for real! We got the evening climb as it was slightly cheaper at $198 per person. We also ordered two photos for $30.

The bridge climb was incredible!! It was a 3.5 hour experience. We booked it for 16.25 and only started the climb half an hour later. First you have to sign a declaration, then you’re taken into the next room and everyone introduces themselves and you kind of get to know who you’re walking with. Then you get your very snazzy outfit. After putting that on you can put all your valuables in little lockers and you walk through a metal detector. That’s followed by strapping into your gear, getting a quick induction on how that works, and then climbing up some incredibly steep stairs to see if everyone is able to climb them. You then get a headset and radio for the tour, you collect a handkerchief, a hat, a rain jacket etc and then you’re finally ready to get going!

The first part and the last part are actually the scariest. We started off underneath the bridge and walked underneath the cars and trains. Every time a train went by the whole bridge would shake. At first you can’t look directly down, but after a while you can, and it’s terrifying. Every now and then the group would stop and the guide would point things out to us, standing still was even scarier than walking! We then went up the steepest stairs I’ve ever seen. This was terrifying. This was even worse than walking underneath the road and train. And the stairs just kept going up and higher!! Once we were up those stairs and reached the actual arch, everything was so much better! There wasn’t any shaking or scary noises or anything. This is where I really started to appreciate the view. Looking at the Opera House and back towards the CBD was incredible and such an unreal site. We were all the way at the back of the group of 14, so there was no one behind us! There were quite a few photo stops and only being able to choose 1 was going to be tricky. We walked all the way up the arch to the middle of the bridge. This is where we had 5 minutes to just stop and stare and be amazed. We then took a group photo, which everyone gets for free! Now this part was pretty terrifying too... We walked from one edge of the bridge to the other side. We couldn’t look directly down, but the path was really thin so you could see the road and the cars driving way down underneath us. I’m not particularly scared of heights, but if I fell, I doubt the strap I was connected to would really catch me... Once we were on the other side and walking back down we had a beautiful view back of the city. Sydney is just beautiful, especially from the top of the Harbour Bridge!! We then had to climb back down the super steep stairs. I would say going down was worse than going up because this time we were actually directly next to the train rails. As I was (very very slowly) trying to make my way down, a train when by and made everything shake!!! After that though it was an easy walk back to the building.

When you arrive back everything goes very smoothly. We went in, took off all our gear, received a certificate and collected our CD of photos. In the end we couldn’t choose between just two photos, so we paid a little extra to receive all of our photos. I’m so glad we did! We could then choose which photos we wanted to post directly to Facebook, we choose three of our favourite photos and received a receipt which we could use for a machine in the next room - scan in the receipt, fill in Facebook details, write a status and post! We don’t have internet in our hotel and don’t have anything to put a CD in, so we wouldn’t have been able to see our photos until we’re back in the UK. Such a great service that we could put it on Facebook immediately!!

All in all the Bridge Climb was such a fantastic experience, it was scary, but definitely not too scary, and I would highly recommend it. After the climb we walked back through Elizabeth Street and George Street back to our hotel and had some quick food along the way.

Sydney has been such an amazing and exciting place to be! I fell in love with it from the start. We have seen so much in such a short amount of time. It would have been nice to stay longer, but we have crammed in so much that I feel it’s fine to move on.

The next top is Port Macquarie, where we’ll only be staying for a very short 24 hours. Our bus leaves Sydney at 7am and we arrive at 14.20. It’s a very long first ride, but I’m really excited to get going.

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