On 19 March, 1932, after nine years of planning and building, more than a million Australians crossed the newly opened Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest arch bridge in the world. This revised edition of Peter Spearitt's biography of the Bridge celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 2012. It tells the extraordinary story of the Bridge's design and construction, the drama of its official opening, and the way it has taken a central place in Sydney's celebrations and become a much-loved symbol of the city. The Bridge has inspired great art and drawn visitors from all over the world to marvel and climb it, yet is still so familiar that Sydneysiders refer to it endearingly as the coathanger. The Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrates not only a magnificent structure, but the people who use it.
Australia has evolved from a nation of tea drinkers into one of passionate, true-to-Italian-immigrant espresso consumers.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879) is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature. Stevenson was in his late 20s and still dependent on his parents for support. His journey was designed to provide material for publication while allowing him to distance himself from a love affair with an American woman of which his friends and families did not approve and who had returned to her husband in California. Travels recounts Stevenson's 12-day, 120-mile solo hiking journey through the sparsely populated and impoverished areas of the Cevennes mountains in south-central France in 1878. The terrain with its barren rocky heather-filled hillsides he fotened compared to parts of Scotland. The other principal character is Modestine, a stubborn, manipulative donkey he could never quite master. It is one of the earliest accounts to present hiking and camping outdoors as a recreational activity. It also tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags, large and heavy enough to require a donkey to carry. Stevenson is several times mistaken for a peddler, the usual occupation of someone traveling in his fashion. Some locals are horrified that he would sleep outdoors and suggest it is dangerous to do so because of wolves of robbers. Stevenson provides the reader with the philosophy behind his undertaking: For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more clearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints. Alas, as we get up in life, and are more preoccupied with our affairs, even a holiday is a thing that must be worked for. To hold a pack upon a pack-saddle against a gale out of the freezing north is no high industry, but it is one that serves to occupy and compose the mind. And when the present is so exacting who can annoy himself about the future?"
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