The theme for our travel pics this week is B – for Bridges.
Today, it’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge, often called The Coathanger by locals.
The tallest single span arch bridge in the world, the Harbour Bridge was also the longest such bridge when it was built during the Great Depression.
It is one of Australia’s most iconic sights (and sites), and is home to the annual New Years Eve fireworks display, which means it is seen on TV screens around the world.
At its official opening a right-wing militia member, Francis De Groot, rushed forward and slashed the ribbon to prevent the leftist premier, Jack Lang from doing so. He was arrested, and fined for offensive behaviour – but that was later overturned, and he successfully sued for wrongful arrest.
The bridge took 10 years to build, and cost just over £6,250,000 – which took until 1988 to pay off!
Australians almost universally think the bridge is beautiful – as does travel writer Bill Bryson – who says “This is a great bridge. You can see it from every corner of the city, creeping into frame from the oddest angles, like an uncle who wants to get into every snapshot. ” … but his fellow American James Michener, wasn’t so generous, when he said “it is big, utilitarian and the symbol of Australia – but it is very ugly. No Australian will admit this.”
I love it. And the fact that this was taken from the back of a cruise ship just makes it even more beautiful 🙂