Travel theme: Bridges

Toy train bridge

This post was inspired by Elaine at I used to be indecisive, or rather by her take on this week’s travel theme at Where’s my backpack?
The theme is bridges, which are one of my favourite things to photograph, so when I saw Elaine’s post I knew I had to join in!

I’m not sure why I like photographing bridges so much. Perhaps it’s because of what they represent. Without bridges it would be so much more difficult to get anywhere – and I do so hate being stuck in one place for any length of time! (I blame my army upbringing.) Of course, without bridges there would still be boats and planes – and in some instances even the possibility to swim – but those methods aren’t always practical – or would you enjoy swimming across a stream when there’s snow on the ground? 😉

Or maybe I just made all that up so I would sound intellectual and the real reason I have so many photos of bridges is simply because I like the way they look? Many of them are just so beautiful! Others are majestic. With some, I wonder how on Earth anybody ever managed to put them together (there’s a reason I’m a translator and not an engineer!). Anyway – enough rambling from me! Time to get on to the bridges…

With so many photos in my collection, it was really difficult to decide which bridges to include in this post, but to start with I thought I would give you my most recent photograph of a bridge, taken in Luxembourg City on 2 January this year:

Luxembourg bridge

This is the Adolphe Bridge, one of the bridges across the gorge that splits Luxembourg City in two. It was built between 1900 and 1903 and is one of those bridges that makes me wonder just how the builders managed.

The next photo is not specifically of a bridge, but it does show some of Stockholm’s many bridges. The city of Stockholm is made up entirely of different islands (14 if I remember correctly), so there are basically bridges everywhere you look.

Stockholm

This photo was taken from the tower of Stockholm City Hall, and as you can see the view is well worth the climb!

Moving on… my next photo shows the St. Nikolaus Bridge in Calw, Germany. Being my adopted home country, Germany may be featuring a few times in this post…

St. Nikolaus BridgeThe tiny little building you can see on the bridge is the St. Nikolaus Chapel and the metal statue just in front of it is Hermann Hesse, who was born in Calw. Here’s a better picture of the statue:

Hermann Hesse

Looking at the sky, you wouldn’t believe these photos were taken a few moments apart. I promise you, they were!

Staying in Germany, but moving a little closer to home, this pretty wooden bridge is in Ettlingen – the next town over from Karlsruhe.

Ettlingen

The river it crosses is the Alb.

Switching countries again, here are two Dutch bridges. One in Leiden, complete with windmill:

Leiden

It opens to let ships through.
And one in Delft:

Delft

OK, that last one isn’t exactly a bridge in the same way as the others I’ve posted (it’s part of Delft’s Eastern Gate), but it does bridge a canal and it’s rather cool, don’t you think?

Austria next, I think. And a night shot.

Salzburg bridge

The above photo of a bridge over the River Salzach, in Salzburg, was taken in December 2011 – which is why the bridge has Christmas lights on it. In the background you can see the fortress, all lit up.

OK, this post is getting rather long now so I won’t add too many more. Here’s a bridge in Venice, Italy:

Venice bridge

Returning to Germany with one from Tübingen:

Tübingen bridge

Not the best photo, but I’m including it so I can also say Tübingen is among the prettiest places in Germany and if you ever find yourself in the area you shoud go!

Another one from Austria – this time from Feldkirch, which I want in purely because I used to live there:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The yellow building is the Landeskonservatorium für Vorarlberg – in other words the music college. The building was originally a Jesiuit school, the Stella Matutina, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame was once a pupil there!

And now I shall finish off with some photos of the North East of England, because it’s the closest thing to a “where I’m from” I have.
This one is the Lion Bridge in Alnwick, Northumberland – so-named because of the stone lion that stands on it:

Lion Bridge, Alnwick

Here’s a bridge in Morpeth, the town where I spent most of my childhood holidays (my parents are both from there) and later, after moving up North myself, a few drunken teenage nights:

Morpeth bridge

And finally, here are some of the bridges that cross the River Tyne in Newcastle, including the most famous one – the Tyne Bridge itself.

Bridges of Newcastle

Wow! Sorry this post has ended up being so long – I was having too much fun to stop! If you would like to see even more bridges – or join in yourself – you need to go here.

All of these photos were taken by me or – in the case of the one from Leiden – my boyfriend. Please do not steal them.

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The land of blue and white porcelain

Last week we finally made it to Delft to visit a friend of mine. She’s been living there for 2 and a half years already and is planning on moving back to America (where she’s from) in the summer, so this really was our last possible chance! It was lovely to see her again, and I thoroughly enjoyed our few days there. Delft is a gorgeous town. I do like the Dutch style buildings, and of course there were canals everywhere. All this water brought with it a tonne of wildlife. Ducks, of course, but also coots, swans and even a heron that likes to hang around outside a house down my friend’s street waiting to be fed bits of fish and things. How cool is that? Other people have stray cats popping along to be fed, this house got a heron!

Heron, standing on a car waiting for his dinner

We also went to the Hague – had to be done seeing as it’s so close to Delft. The Escher museum there is fantastic and worth every single cent of the 7 Euro entry fee. For those who don’t know, Escher was a dutch graphic artist who did strange but interesting drawings, using strange perspectives and tesselation, among other things. A famous one is Air and Water, in which fish turn into birds. Fascinating stuff!

Our final trip of the visit was to Leiden, where we ate the most amazing pancakes! Huuuge things they were, with an interesting range of toppings. Jan and I had one with bacon and ginger and one with bacon, cheese and apple, which we ate half of each before swapping. Delicious! Having stuffed ourselves with pancakes, we went to work off all the calories at the windmill museum “De Valk”, meaning The Falcon. The windmill was actually working on the day we went, which my friend said she had never seen before, so that was something new for all of us (she has been in the museum several times – she used to live in Leiden – but in 2 years had never seen the blades actually turning).

De Valk windmill – now a windmill museum

We ended our visit on Friday evening by making sushi with our hosts, which Jan and I had never done before. It came out pretty well and tasted absolutely delicious! A great end to a lovely few days away.