Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sydney, Auckland bridge climbs provide thrills, chills, stunning views

The bridge climbing group wends its way carefully above the waters of Sydney, Australia's, world famous harbor. 


At the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Keller and
Cookie celebrate with a wave and a victory cheer.


I MUST HAVE been dream walking the morning I went on line to book two tickets to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 
I sent a text to tell Keller I'd done it. He knew I'd been to Australia four times before, and declined the daring climb every time.  Now, with our trip days away, I'd committed to the adventure.
No more avoidance. Like Bert Lahr in "The Wizard of Oz," I was dancing down the Yellow Brick Road, determined to find courage.
"Wow" was the total of Keller's text back. He knew it was a daunting undertaking for me, a lifelong vertigo victim with a paralyzing fear of heights.
View from the bridge: Sydney Opera House near sunset.
Our next blog will take readers inside the iconic building.
The Great Wall made me dizzy. The views from the Eiffel Tower leave me short of breath.
A tenth story hotel room window makes my head spin. So what was I thinking?
IT WAS ALMOST year's end. I was tired of being a sissy, of sitting on the sports sideline.
Climbing the Auckland Bridge was a dream, much gentler
than Sydney's climb, with gorgeous views of  the pretty harbor.

Growing up in a family of dare devils -- skiers, swimmers, divers, high-jumpers -- I was the actor, musician, bookworm. I took my novel into the warming hut while a clan of expert skiers zipped by.  I learned play lines by the pool when everyone else went surfing.
But the year was ending. I would conquer old fears, defy demons.
I FELT SAFE once underway. Climb leaders are highly trained and your belt is fastened to the bridge as you move. On both climbs, I admitted my fear and was cheered on by the leaders and an international mix of friends.
We spent a day recently at the Sydney Opera House, touring the many
theaters, dining on salmon and caviar, and savoring the building's history.
THERE ARE three major bridge climbs in Australia.  We've reveled in the Sydney and Auckland climbs.  Both left us thrilled with the views.  We have the Brisbane bridge yet to climb, so that's up next when we return to the land Down Under.
Meanwhile, I'm living proof that you can teach an old reporter new tricks.  With the new year upon us, why not do something you've never done, or challenge a cliche about yourself -- and change it!
(www.bridgeclimb.com and
www.bungy.co.nz/auckland-bridge.) You can even bungy off Auckland's bridge.... next trip???

NEXT UP: The building of the gorgeous Sydney Opera House is a story as unlikely as the building itself. We've got the scoop about the Danish architect who won the design contest and the Aussie lottery that funded it.  Read us Wednesdays and weekends at: www.whereiscookie.com.  Please tell your friends!


  1. Happy New Year Indeed! Happy joy joy for you both.

  2. Happy New Year Indeed! Happy joy joy for you both.