Take me to the bridge…
He draws me closer. His pull is magnetic and powerful yet warm and welcome as I tilt my head to one side and soak up the sight of him. He is big, tall and strong. He makes all manner of bold statements. He is iconic.
It is love at first sight.
He is a bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There have been other bridges – The Golden Gate, Brooklyn Bridge, Tower Bridge – but none have captivated me as much as Sydney Harbour Bridge. So much so that I wonder half seriously if it’s possible to fall in love with a bridge.
Maybe it’s because it is a bridge of superlatives; it is the largest and widest arch bridge in the world and was considered a modern engineering miracle when it first opened. Maybe it’s because there is so much history attached to the Sydney Harbour Bridge; returning soldiers were said to have wept when the Harbour Bridge greeted them as they returned to Sydney after the Second World War. Or maybe it’s because it remains the steadfast, iconic focus of Australia’s number one city and it is affectionately referred to as “The Coathanger” by Sydney-siders. Or possibly it’s the world-renowned fireworks, which the Harbour Bridge hosts every New Year’s Eve as it is the first big city to welcome in a new year. All these things and more make this wonderful piece of modern engineering a special sight to marvel at from any angle.
But why can I not take my eyes off it? Every time I venture out to walk the hilly streets of Sydney I find myself seeking the bridge out. I take comfort in its presence and when I walk or drive across it I feel safe and secure in a way that other bridges don’t achieve. Surely I can’t be suffering from the serious but often ridiculed condition of objectophilia, which is when humans fall in love with inanimate objects. There have to be personal reasons for this developing obsession.
As a London girl, Sydney represents the other side of the world to me and so reaching this destination on my round the world trip was always going to carry a little momentous weight. It is also the home of my partner and so maybe the Harbour Bridge represents an important missing piece in his puzzle that I have now found. Of course, with that also comes a dreamy wondering if we he will want to return here one day and I will find myself moving in with the Harbour Bridge. All of this adds emphasis and meaning to the steel and concrete monster, which is also surprisingly attractive to look at from afar and up close.
I’m sure I’ll get over it. I’m sure one day I’ll meet another bridge that represents just as much historically and personally but until that day, dearest Sydney Harbour Bridge, I will treasure the special and unexpected bond we share.
Bird is a Londoner turned Wanderer who has swapped hyperlocal blogging for travel blogging after she left the great grey of London behind for a life more colourful on the road armed with her camera, her Aussie boyfriend and a rubber duck. She is currently to be found in a campervan somewhere in New Zealand and is hoping for one last fling with Southeast Asia before heading back to Europe in March as she has a date with her snowboard and the Alps.