Friday Morning

Friday morning I had plans to meet up with a fellow blogger for coffee.  If coffee went well, our next stop was going to be the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout.  I was quite excited to be going up on the bridge on foot as I had driven across it several times when we first arrived and it was not an experience I remember with fondness!

Coffee was a resounding success so we headed up the Argyle Stairs to cross Cumberland and head up even more stairs to the bridge proper.  Really, come to think of it - the days adventures focused primarily around stairs. 
Once on the bridge we were assaulted by wind, traffic noise, bright sunlight and one of the most distracting views I have ever seen.  Half way to the ferry that morning I realized that I had left my camera at home. Turning back to get it would have meant missing my ferry and showing up to coffee a half hour late so I resigned myself to using my phone as my camera.  I suppose it's a good thing I forgot my camera - I managed to take 84 pictures with my phone...  Imagine how many I could have taken with a zoom option!  I was a bit bummed that it was so hard to see our apartment from the bridge - it's such a huge landmark right there in our window everyday that I forgot that it would be very hard to pick out our place from the other end.  I was able to locate it though; but it's impossible to see it in these photos. Sorry.... I digress (this happens quite a bit).

We went into the pylon and climbed several flights of stairs in order to give our nine dollars fifty to a very nice man at the information desk. I always think of Bill Bryson when I am paying an entrance fee to a museum - he is always quite vocal in his books about how much a rip-off most tourist museums are; and he frequently puts his money where his mouth is by leaving without seeing anything.  I was a bit taken aback at the price tag for this one; but, then again, I am taken aback by the price tag of most things in this city.  The museum employee told us that the best way to complete the tour was to climb all the way to the top and then work our way down. 

Well, after about six flights of stairs we were ready to take a little break and look at some exhibits.  They were pretty run of the mill; but did offer a lot of historical information in the way of old photos and maps.  One of my favourite photos was this one of people streaming across the bridge at it's inauguration. The bridge is staggering even today in its design and it's sheer heft and presence.   I can only imagine how incredible it would have been for the residents of Sydney when it was finally completed.  It must have been such a proud day for these lucky people to have been some of the first people to walk across.

At this point we were sufficiently recovered enough to tackle the four or so more flights of stairs to the lookout at the top of the pylon.  Well....  let's just say that I would have paid much more than $9.50 to spend some time up there with that view! We stayed outside on the 360 degree lookout for close to a half hour and this is where I took roughly 76 of my 84 photos of the day. From that high, you could actually see the silhouettes of the Blue Mountains ever so faintly in the West.  Plus, you could see...  Well, I'll just let you see for yourself!

If you look closely at that last photo you will see one of the bridge climb tours filing back down from the arch.  I think I could have stayed up there all day and waited for the sunset just to get some more photos; but we were windblown and getting hungry. 

When we finally tore ourselves away from the view and headed back down the gazillion stairs (much easier going down) we had to the make the decision to go forward across the bridge or return back to the Rocks.  As neither of us had ever walked across the bridge we decided to just keep walking and then figure out some lunch options once we got to Kirribilli.  The walk across the bridge was nice but much shorter than I was expecting. 

Once in Kirribilli, we found a great little cafe and ordered lunch.  I got fish and chips and they were delicious in the way that food is when you have been trekking around and standing in the wind for a time.  There was a very intense seagull that was trying to use Jedi mind tricks to get our food; but we resisted.  The chips at this place were so good - they were seasoned with chicken salt as opposed to regular salt.  I was sure I wasn't going to like it; but it ended up being the best part.  My fellow blogger and I were eating chips based on the greatest chicken salt to surface area ratio.

After lunch, we decided to head back into the city.  We were faced with some difficult choices: Ferry, Bus, Train or Foot.  Wisely, we chose the ferry because there is just no better way to see the Opera House up close.  Plus, it's a boat - and it's cool.  We walked down to the North Sydney ferry wharf and sat on a bench. It was weird looking across Neutral Bay right into my windows.  It made me realize that if anyone on this side of the bay had binoculars they would be able to see quite a bit of what goes on in our place.  So, I think I am going to be a bit more careful about pulling the shades at night!

We took the next ferry back to the Quay and parted ways; but there are already plans afoot for another date to introduce our menfolk and drink a bunch of beer.  Maybe I can smuggle a shaker of chicken salt into the bar for our chips?

7 Responses
  1. C. In Oz Says:

    Yay! Love your account of the day - so much fun! I especially love your description of the seagull and his Jedi mind tricks and the chicken salt to surface ratio. I was trying to describe the awesomeness of the chicken salt to P-i-C, and he just looked at me like I was crazy. ;-)

    I think we're going out of town this weekend, so let's definitely plan on that date for next week!

  2. CoryAlayne Says:

    Beautiful pics, my Mimi. Hooray phone camera!

    And hey, how's September treating you? We're looking forward to meeting you there in 4ish hours. :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    Again- I am so impressed with your phone photos. What kind of fancy phone do you have girl? :)
    Looks like you had a beautiful day for your adventure!

  4. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Cristin - sounds good, just let me know what works for you next week. We have a pretty crazy weekend as well so it works out for us too! I am totally buying chicken salt this week at Wollies (I will stash it in my purse for us!) Read your blog post today about the meat pies with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy. It made me vom in my mouth a little ;)

    @ Cory - I miss you monkey! Have you installed Skype yet? I want to see your pretty face (well, I mostly want to see Vi know). So far September has been lots of laundry; but beautiful weather... Hooray for our birthday month!

    @ Jenny - it is an HTC Desire. It was the one that Telstra was running all the print ads for a couple months ago. It is an Android and I love the phone - I just don't love Telstra... Worst customer service ever!

  5. Gina E. Says:

    Great description and photos, Mimi! You seem to be having a ball, and it must be great fun to be meeting up with a fellow American. I was always tickled pink to meet another Aussie whenever I was overseas. Sorry to hear you are having a bad time with Telstra...what's gone wrong? We've been with them since Day 1, and have never had any major problems. When I was a total novice with my computer, I was forever calling their help line, and every person I spoke to was so helpful.

  6. Jen Says:

    mmmm - i love any kind of salt. maybe we can arrange an overseas trade, my Heinz 57 for your chicken salt. that is, unless it is something very bizzare like dried chicken peepee. ew.

  7. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Gina - we just had a rocky set-up process. Joe had a pre-paid mobile and I didn't have any so mine was a straight forward set-up. His had to be provisioned etc... They set him up on a separate account that no one could find for a while. Finally, we asked them to move his number to the main account and instead of doing a transfer, they cancelled his contract and restarted it which incurred a ton a fees... sigh. It just took a lot of time and explaining on the phone to get them to fix everything. Since then, they have been fine so I am hoping it was a one-off :)

    @ Jen - It is so yummy!! I think I want a container of chili powder for my trade though... the chili powder here is different and hotter. Still good; but hard to use when you are making a recipe that specifically calls for American style chili powder. I just got a birthday package from Joe's parents and I am waiting to open it; but I can see what is in it cause of the customs declaration form :) Ketchup, BBQ Sauce and Skyline Chili!!!! Ha Ha!!!!

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