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So You Want To Climb The Sydney Harbour Bridge....

Headed to Sydney anytime soon? Hands down, the best view is from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

I had a lot of doubts over whether I'd be ok enough to handle it, and I took a $300 gamble and went for it. I had some friends who recently did it and they reassured me that it wasn't nearly as bad as it looked (which I also started to doubt after getting off of the cruise ship and standing under the bridge). The good news? If I can do it, then there are few people who can't.

When we disembarked from our cruise, it was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Sydney. Awesome-I was always that kid to overheat in gym when I was little. But this was an expensive, pre-paid excursion, and what's the worst that can happen, right?

We headed there and got checked in easily. The jumpsuit that I'm wearing-it's mandatory. Not exactly what I would have picked to climb a bridge in hundred degree weather, but it is what it is. The good news is that once you get outside, there is a breeze, and the suit does allow for air movement (though not quite enough for me on a day that hot).

You sign away your life, and then after suiting up, it's time to get your equipment hooked up. You're given a hat (which is yours to keep!), your harness equipment, and the communication equipment that allows you to hear your guide (since it can get quite windy). Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to bring anything besides a pair of glasses. No camera, no GoPro-you even have to pass through a metal detector before heading outdoors. All photos taken are available for purchase, individually or all of them, printed or on a USB drive (which we opted to do). Your guide is the one who takes all photos and videos. You can expect to stop for a photo opt at about the 3/4 from the top area, and then of course at the summit.

What's the actual climb like? I don't know that I'd call it a climb. I mean, yes-you are climbing to the top of the bridge. It's more like a slow, gradual incline up some very easy to navigate stairs. They aren't full size stairs-it's almost like raising your foot an extra two or three inches than you would if you were taking a step while walking on level ground for a very large majority of the climb. Yes, there are a few sets of stairs at the end that you have to conquer. My biggest problem was as predicted-the heat. We made our climb in early afternoon, with the sun beating down on an already hot day, and I started to feel it at about the halfway mark when I started to get dizzy and nauseous. We were fortunate to be the only two in our group since we booked the karaoke climb, so it was easy enough to ask for a break for two or three minutes, and I did several times. On one break, I did cave and took the guide up on his offer for his emergency water stash-but it was better than blacking out. Who the hell do they call to bring you down? I wish I had asked LOL.

The final push to the top...this is what a lot of the stairs look like. Easy to navigate without dying stairs.

While you're climbing, the harness that you can see around my waist is hooked directly into the bridge-you simply walk, and it guides right along with you as you walk and even climb the stairs. We weren't required to disconnect it or anything at any time, and it was super easy.

I think the biggest surprise was pointed out by my partner in travel for that trip-just how steady the bridge was, even at the top. As we ascended, we were briefly on the same level as both the traffic and an above ground subway. That bridge is sturdier than anything I've ever traveled across, anywhere. There's no sway, no movement-it's easy to forget how high you are as you're going up it.

Once you make it to the top, we had a nice,strong breeze which was awesome. It was such an amazing feeling to make it to the top. As I mentioned, we chose to do the "karaoke climb", which means that once you make it to the top, you get to pick two or three songs from a list, and do karaoke at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not bad for my first time-and I'm even posting the obligatory embarrassing video above. Don't laugh at me too hard.

Your guide will take lots of pictures, and even some video, and then it's time to head back down. Coming down was a walk in the park, and I didn't need to stop at all. From the time that we checked in (early), until the time that we were back inside and changed into our regular clothes, the whole thing took about three hours. There are other variations of the climb-there are non-karaoke climbs, you can choose to climb to the halfway mark, sunrise and sunset climbs-they actually operate 24 hours a day. You can climb the bridge in the dark by head lamp-but I was already tempting fate enough.

If you're ever lucky enough to make it to Sydney-absolutely, positively go for it! It's nowhere near as intimidating as it looks, I promise. Check out a few more of our pics below.

At about the 3/4 mark...doing my best "I'm totally not about to drop dead from heat stroke" impression...with the doomed Norwegian Star cruise ship that we had just disembarked from in the background to the left.

At the very top!!! #DidntDie

Pre-climb obligatory selfie

Our first view of the bridge after getting off of the cruise ship...only looks a touch intimidating from the bottom, right?

Check back soon-I'm still playing catch up and have a TON of stuff to post about this extremely eventful cruise.

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