Monday, September 8, 2014

Crossing Bridges

Twin Falls, Idaho

We crossed a lot of bridges in our travels; some of them were even physical ones.  Locations of each picture are in the alt text, if you hover your pointer over the image.

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Victoria, Canada
Miniature World, Empress Hotel, Victoria Island

A few we didn’t cross at all, like this one which is part of a model train exhibit.

Whidbey Island, Washington

There were many that we passed under, as well.  Sometimes the underside of a bridge is more interesting than the side or top.

Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, Montana
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Niagara Falls, Canada
Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

We went from massive, but delicate spans to incredibly stout, low ones.

Acadia National Park, Maine
Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina

Or small, and not so stout.

Inca Trail, Peru
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Auckland, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Abel Tasman, New Zealand

We walked on a surprising number of foot bridges.

Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk, Western Australia
Sydney, Australia
Tirta Gangga, Bali, Indonesia
Hong Kong, China

While most had pleasing shapes, a few were colorful as well.

The Huc Bridge, Hanoi, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Mekong River, Vietnam
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Mekong Delta, Camboida

And a number made us a little nervous.

Mekong Delta, Cambodia
Luang Prabang, Laos

Or a lot nervous.

Ankarafansika National Park, Madagascar
Tsingy de Bemaraha, Madagascar
Ambositra, Madagascar
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Istanbul, Turkey

Some long, and some short.

Cappadocia, Turkey
Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Winding or crooked.

Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary

Europe in particular had a lot of old, ornate bridges where cities grew up around river commerce.

Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary

We crossed bridges that spanned large rivers.

Prague, Czech Republic

And small canals.

Prague, Czech Republic
Dresden, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Busy streets and lazy canals.

Den Gamle By, Arhus, Denmark
Malmo, Sweden

They crossed international borders. The bridge above crosses the ├śresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden—it’s actually a tunnel on the Danish side, and then becomes a bridge partway across the strait.  The tunnel does not interfere with either ships or airplanes (the Copenhagen airport is quite close, and it’s puzzling to see a major bridge disappear into a hole in a small island as your plane is coming in to land).

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Some bridges seemed to be a large part of the morning commute, like here in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Scotland, United Kingdom
London, England
London, England (Bridges: Millenium, Southwark, London, and Tower)

If you think about a bridge being a way to get from one place to another, then of course the most significant bridge we crossed was the trip itself.  We set off on the bridge without knowing where it might lead. It was crooked and winding and long; we met people crossing, both going our direction and not.  We learned that crossing isn’t always comfortable or easy, but there is always a reason to cross.   The other side isn’t always better, though it’s usually different.   By the time we reached the other side of our year of travel we had both crossed over and come back around full circle.  What had been familiar now felt jarringly alien.  The bridge had changed us.  But the good news is that we rolled it up behind us and carried it in our packs so you could walk this way with us.  You’re welcome to cross with us.