The much-photographed Harbour Bridge and Opera House combo around Circular Quay is spectacularly beautiful and buzzing with tourists. But as you head back into the CBD, Sydney (to me anyway) feels fairly similar to London. Busy, noisy streets, loads of shops, loads of multicultural influences, buskers, chuggers, and more tourists. The climate as we go through autumn is really weird. Too hot for a hoody, too cold without one. Whenever I have to wait in the direct sun, say, to cross the road, I just melt. But tofday I bought a coat, which is an indication of how I'm noticing the dropping temperatures.
The greatest thing about Sydney is the way it's revealing itself to me slowly, but as if it has a confidence that I will totally fall for it eventually....even if I am approaching it cynically, with my London-loving eye. Be it a row of amazing shops, mad buskers, the weather, a lovely shop assistant, great people at work, great housemates, or the way the beer is served in glasses straight from the freezer, every day something happens to convince me further of Sydney's worth as a place to spend a large amount of time.
The amount of gear you have to be fitted out with is quite incredible. You're fully strapped in, wearing jumpsuits and rain trousers (I'm afraid this was too much for me and I refused to wear what would have then been THREE layers on my legs. It's only a bridge for goodness sake!) we had torches, radios, headphones, gloves, a spare fleece, even a hanky that had elastic to keep it on your wrist! It took a good half hour to get ready. Then when I actually climbed the bridge I didn't even get remotely out of breath and felt there was absolutely zero chance of me falling off. But better safe than sorry!
I got up for this experience at 2:30am and ran the 4 kilometres from my house to the bridge. It was great - loads of drunk people having arguments to laugh at in the early stages of my journey, followed by seeing the masses converge on Martin Place where the cenotaph is. I passed there at about 3:45am and it was already packed.
We were off the bridge by about 7:30am and we then had our first beer at 8am! ANZAC Day is a public holiday and the Aussies don't do partying by halves. In fact you will find the proper measurement is a schooner. I had quite a few.