Far from familiar meandering lanes, I am here in the midst of the dramatic lines of Sydney. Strong diagonals on the Bridge, soaring curves on the Opera House, tiny human forms a reminder of our presence.
A woman tied to a harness sets out on the climb. It will take three hours and 189 dollars to complete a walk to the top of the bridge and back. I savour planet earth, sit back and soak it up, from below. I didn’t understand it before, why so many of our young people live, work, settle here? But Australia is beautiful and I am beginning to get it.
Although moved by the effort and imagination, I am intimidated by the height of the Coat Hanger Bridge and go into frozen denial even on the lower pathway. The camera is a distraction which soon works it’s magic and I get lost in the moment.
From nothing they made this place and dreamed large. I study old photographs of the 1400 men who worked on the Bridge with their bare hands. 16 of them died on the job. The white hot rivets of steel made their lives a misery and sparks shredded their overalls within days. No safety harnesses, no hard hats.
But it’s the invisible photographer who I remember now. The one who carried that primitive equipment all the way up here to capture their faces, the see for the first time the view of the harbour, to marvel at the engineering and craftsmanship.
I think of the eyes behind that lens and in this moment I share the passion of so many who walked the path before me.
I never climbed it either, Catherine, but soaked it up from beklow. My elder brother did climb it and looked like a little kid (at age 70). He was on top of his world in that moment…something he needed. I never read anything about the story behind this bridge. Like so many other man-made marvels, it gives me pause….
I love it that you're "getting" Australia. Never to be forgotten!
Beautiful, beautiful silhouettes. I would be torn by my need to give all things a go, but wanting to stay firmly planted on the ground.
Rebecca Alexis says
Oh these are just beautiful. I feel dizzy and nervous just looking at all the small humans up there on the bridge. Have you ever read "Tar Beach" by Faith Ringold? It is a children's story which includes a mention of the Brooklyn Bridge. Your notes on the human side of an age old bridge reminded me of this. So very lovely. xxoo
WOW…sounds like an incredible (albeit a little dizzying) experience. Can't wait to hear all about it…:-)!
Donna@Gardens Eye View says
I have a fear of heights especially around bridges….I marvel at those who went before us and created so many amazing things…how they thought of these and then built them.
Gotham Girl says
AWESOME! What an experience!
My 11 year old son and my husband did the climb last year and had a great time, lovely photos.
Down by the sea says
Amazing pictures what a contrast to you usual ones of Ireland, the people look so tiny!
Mary Pellerito says
A beautiful bridge is really a piece of art, a piece of sculpture.
Great silhouettes. I think it must be very easy for Irish eyes to be seduced by the warm sunshine down under given
that we are so used to dreary, wet, cold weather – yes it's like that again today.
Just catching up with your exploits after some rather intensive work of my own.
Hope that your having a great time Catherine, and I really like this set of silhouettes. I can't help but think of a great white shark with open mouth when I look at the 4th down.
No bungee jumping then?