Bridges

 

 

Asien 1972-73
Goats, resting on an ancient stone bridge near Izmir, Turkey. – Read more about domestic goats elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
Californien 2013
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is a suspension bridge, 2,737 metres long, spanning the Golden Gate, the strait connecting San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. This bridge was opened in 1937, and until 1964, it had the longest main span of any suspension bridge in the world, at 1,280 metres. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In the Himalaya, very basic bridge types merely consist of planks or stone slabs, spanning narrow streams. A more elaborate type is the cantilever bridge, where you project beams, secured with stones, from either shore horizontally, or slightly upwards, towards each other, after which you tie beams or bamboo poles across the gap, connecting the cantilevers.

In former times, suspension bridges in the Himalaya were made of bamboo poles or branches, which were tied together with twine made from liana bark, and secured to a large tree on either side of the river. After some years of wear and tear, these rather flimsy structures would finally break, often causing casualties among men and beasts. Today, the Himalayan suspension bridges are solid steel structures, secured with strong steel cables, built into concrete blocks at both ends.

The following pictures show all of these bridge types from various places in the Himalaya.

 

Nepal 2009
Porter, crossing a stone bridge, spanning a tiny stream in the Upper Langtang Valley, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 1994-95
This simple bridge is constructed of long bamboo poles, tied to a wooden structure at either end, Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Himachal Pradesh 2007
Assisted by her guide, Madhu Saxena crosses a bridge, merely consisting of tree trunks, onto which boards have been nailed, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India. The trail along the Tirthan River had been washed away by heavy monsoon showers, and a new ‘path’ had been constructed, much of it leading through river itself. – Read more about our hike in this area elsewhere on this website, see Plants: Plant hunting in the Himalaya – Abode of the deodar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1982
This ‘bridge’ across the Rishi Ganga River, Nanda Devi National Park, Uttarakhand, India, is even simpler than the one above, merely consisting of two rather thin logs, resting precariously on rocks on either side of the river. My companion John Burke and I were scared stiff when crossing the river, balancing on these logs. – Read more about our hike in this very interesting area elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 1982 – Pleasures of Nanda Devi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Sydasien 1978-79
This porter, carrying a heavy load of planks, is walking across a basic type of cantilever bridge, Dudh Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 2013
This porter, his burden protected from rain by a bright blue plastic sheet, is crossing a cantilever bridge, spanning a tributary to the Ghunsa River, eastern Nepal. Evidently, this site is sacred to the local Tibetan Buddhists, as it is adorned with numerous prayer flags, tied to strings, stretched across the river. – Read more about prayer flags, and about Buddhism in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Buddhism. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Everest 2010
This lovely cantilever bridge spans the Dudh Kosi River near Pungi Tenga, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. Numerous Buddhist prayer flags are tied to strings, stretched across the river. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 1985
Porter, crossing an old-fashioned suspension bridge, constructed of steel cables, vines, and mats, spanning the Marsyangdi River, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 2013
Dilapidated suspension bridge, spanning the Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Everest 2010
Nepal 2002
This suspension bridge, which is adorned with numerous Buddhist prayer flags, spans the Dudh Kosi River, near the confluence of this river and the Bhote Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
Woman, carrying a huge load of fodder across a suspension bridge, Pandoh, Himachal Pradesh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 1994-95
A large flock of goats and sheep, crossing a suspension bridge in the Lower Marsyangdi Valley, central Nepal. – Read more about domestic goats and sheep elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 1994-95
Steel suspension bridge, spanning the Tamur River, eastern Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 2000
Mules, heavily laden with planks, cross a steel suspension bridge, spanning the Kali Gandaki River, Mustang District, central Nepal. – Read more about mules elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
Cows, chewing their cud, block the traffic on a bridge across the Parvati River, Himachal Pradesh, India. Judging from the large piles of dung on the bridge, it constituted a favourite resting place for these cows. – Read more about domestic cattle elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In 2004, when I visited the Bhote Kosi Valley, central Nepal, this area was controlled by Maoist rebels, fighting against the government. I had to pay a ‘donation’ of 1000 Rupees, or I would not be allowed to pass this village, but otherwise the Maoists were very polite towards me.

 

Rolwaling 2004
Suspension bridge across the Bhote Kosi River, near Jagat. The red banner on the bridge reads as follows: “Let us fight against the government. Help the low castes and get rid of the caste system.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

During the Himalayan monsoon, torrential rain showers often cause landslides, which occasionally wash away houses, trails and bridges, forcing people to build simple temporary bridges, until new, stronger bridges can be constructed. – You may read more about the monsoon elsewhere on this website, see Plants: Plant hunting in the Himalaya – Rainy season in Nepal.

 

Nepal 2000
Tourist, balancing across a ‘bridge’, consisting of rather thin logs, leading across the Langmoché Khola River, Langtang National Park, central Nepal. Following heavy monsoon rain, the original bridge had been washed away, but in less than half an hour, our porters had constructed this provisional ‘bridge’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Sydasien 1978-79
Trekkers, crossing the Dudh Kosi River, Khumbu, eastern Nepal, on a temporary cantilever bridge, which was constructed, when a huge tidal wave had washed away several bridges along this river, August 1978. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Alperne 1968-2001 
Railroad bridge, near Sedrun, Tavetsch Valley, Graubünden, Switzerland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The town of Nyaung Shwe, near Lake Inle, Myanmar, is criss-crossed by countless canals, spanned by a large number of wooden bridges.

 

Myanmar 2007
Three Buddhist nuns, crossing a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Myanmar 2007
Early in the morning, this cyclist, transporting his child, crosses a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Myanmar 2007
Cyclists, crossing a bridge in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Myanmar 2007
This horse cart is crossing a large wooden bridge, spanning the main canal in Nyaung Shwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Myanmar 2007
Boat, passing under the same bridge as above. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

When small, the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a very popular house plant, but in the wild it grows enormous, sprouting numerous aerial roots from its branches, which grow down to the ground, where they take root, over the years becoming additional trunks, creating an entire patch of ‘forest’, which is in reality a single tree. This species is native to the Indian Subcontinent, east to southern China and Taiwan, and thence southwards through Southeast Asia and Indonesia to northern Australia, and eastwards to the Pacific. – The weeping fig, as well as other fig tree species, are dealt with in detail elsewhere on this website, see Plants: Ancient and huge trees.

 

Bali 2015
Foot bridge in front of a gigantic weeping fig, growing near the Wenara Wana Temple (popularly called ‘Monkey Forest’), near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Norden 1967-86 
Bridge, reflected in Lake Umnässjön, Lappland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018
Foot bridge, adorned with rounded stones, presumably from a river bed, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In former days, the eastern half of North America held more than 13,000 covered wooden bridges, most of which were constructed in the 1800s. The covering was intended as a means to prolong the life-span of the bridge, which, without covering, would deteriorate after only 10 to 15 years.

Many of the covered bridges are truss bridges, a structure of connected elements usually forming triangular units. A lattice bridge is a type of truss bridge, where a large number of small planks are placed diagonally to form a lattice.

About 1,500 covered bridges have been preserved in the United States, four of which are shown below.

 

USA 1998-99
Halls Mills Covered Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge, built near the town of Neversink, Catskill Mountains, New York State, in 1912. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

USA 2012a
Hart Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge from c. 1864, 52 metres long and 4.6 metres broad, spanning the Housatonic River, West Cornwall, Connecticut. This bridge was constructed of timber from red spruce (Picea rubens), and wooden pegs, or trunnels, were used for joining the timbers. Blooming yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) is seen in the foreground. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

USA 1998-99
Smith Bridge, near Plymouth, New Hampshire, photographed in rainy weather. This truss bridge, which is 45.5 metres long, was constructed in 1850. Its arches are a later addition. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

USA 2012a
Bulls Bridge, a covered wooden lattice truss bridge from 1842, 33 metres long, spanning the Housatonic River, Kent, Connecticut. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Asien 1972-73
Asien 1972-73
This ruined bridge in north-western Iran, made of bricks, has collapsed. The lower picture shows a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), which has made its nest in a hole in the bridge. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, spans the East River, forming the border between Brooklyn, Long Island, and the island of Manhattan. This famous bridge, which is 1,825 metres long, with a main span of 486 m, was the first steel-wire suspension bridge to be constructed. Work was initiated in 1869, the construction lasting no less than 14 years.

 

USA 1992
USA 1998-99
Brooklyn Bridge is divided, one section for motorized traffic, another for pedestrians. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

USA 1998-99
This picture from 1998 shows the bridge, and Manhattan, at night. The twin towers of the World Trade Center, which were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, are seen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

USA 1998-99
Jew, reciting from The Torah beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2012a
Colourful iron bridge, spanning a river in the city of Taichung, Taiwan. A motorcyclist is seen to the left. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In Acadia National Park, Maine, United States, a total of c. 91 kilometres of so-called carriage roads, besides a number of stone bridges, were constructed between 1913 and 1940. Motorized vehicles are banned on these roads, for the benefit of hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and carriages. They were financed by millionaire and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

 

 

USA 2002-10
This old stone bridge spans the Jordan Creek, Acadia National Park. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007 
Ruined bridge on the Tarn River, near the town of Le Rozier, Gorge du Tarn, Cévennes, France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Filippinerne 1984
Bontoc tribals, crossing a high cantilever bridge, constructed of thick bamboo stems and lianas, spanning the Chico River, northern Luzon, Philippines. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Norden 1967-86 
Old stone bridge, spanning the Ljungan River, Jämtland, Sweden. In 1974, when this picture was taken, horse-drawn wagons were still a part of the traffic picture in Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2016 
Iron bridge, spanning the Merrimac River, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Irland 1987-99 
Droichead na Leathphingine, in English called Halfpenny Bridge (often shortened to Ha’penny Bridge), is a pedestrian iron bridge, spanning the Liffey River in Dublin, Ireland. It was constructed in 1816. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The Rainbow Bridge spans the Neches River in south-eastern Texas, connecting the cities of Port Arthur and Bridge City. The latter was originally named Prairie View, as it was located on coastal grasslands. In 1938, when the Rainbow Bridge was constructed, the name was changed to Bridge City, as you now had to cross a bridge to enter the city, regardless of the direction you came from.

 

USA 1992
Rainbow Bridge, Texas. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Victoria Falls Bridge spans the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls. This river constitutes the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

 

Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
The shadow of Victoria Falls Bridge, reflected on rocks along the Zambezi River gorge. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Zambia 1993
This person has just been performing a bungy jump from Victoria Falls Bridge and is now hanging at the end of the rope. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Alperne 2017
Old stone bridge, Karnertal Valley, Berner Oberland, Switzerland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2011a
Old iron bridge, Coos Bay, Oregon, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Alperne 1968-2001
This old covered wooden bridge spans the Rhine River, which, in this area, constitutes the border between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

  

 

Bornholm 2016a
This rusted iron bridge, produced by a local artist in 2002, spans a gorge, created by quarry work, near the town of Vang, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tanzania 1990 
Makonde boys, playing with home-made toy cars beneath a bridge near Kitere, southern Tanzania. The road leading to the bridge has been eroded away by flooding. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 1998-99 
Old railway bridge, Beaver Lake, Long Island, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
The Xiluo iron bridge, spanning the Jhuoshuei River, western Taiwan, is 1,939 metres long. It was completed in 1952. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Afrika 1980-81 
Damaged wooden bridge near Bouar, Central African Republic. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2012a 
This fine old stone bridge spans Jessamine Creek, near Lexington, Kentucky, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The Blue Nile originates in Lake Tana in the Ethiopian Highlands, from where it makes its way c. 1,500 kilometres to Khartoum, in the Sudan, where it joins the larger White Nile. The name Blue Nile is in fact a misnomer. During the summer monsoon, this river washes down huge amounts of soil from the highlands, which turns its water almost black. In a local Sudanese language, the word for black is also used for blue, so, in reality, the river should be called ‘The Black Nile’.

The first written account of the Blue Nile is from 1565, when a Portuguese, João Bermudes – who called himself Patriarch of Ethiopia – provided a description of the Blue Nile Falls, Tississat, in his memoirs.

Incidentally, to many Christian Ethiopians, the Blue Nile is identified as the sacred river Gihon, one of the four rivers flowing out from the Garden of Eden, as related in Genesis, 2:13.

 

Ethiopien 1996 
This Portuguese stone bridge, constructed in 1632, spans a tributary to the Blue Nile, near Tississat Waterfalls, Ethiopia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

United Kingdom 1992-2002
Vauxhall Bridge is a steel and granite deck arch bridge, spanning the Thames River, London. It was completed in 1906. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007 
Tall brick bridge near Accous, Aspe Valley, Pyrenees, France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Norden 1967-86
Old bridge, constructed of slabs of Öland limestone, Stenåsa, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Asien 1972-73 
These men in the Alborz Mountains, northern Iran, cross a simple wooden bridge, constructed of tree trunks and branches, which rest on stone cairns, placed at intervals in the river bed. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali-Lombok 2012
An old wooden foot bridge, spanning a gorge in the town of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014d
Foot bridge, made from rope, spanning a forest stream, 99 Peaks, western Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2016 
Stone bridge, spanning the Merrimac River, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Norden 1967-86 
Foot bridge, spanning a canal in the city of Trondheim, Norway. The buildings in the background are former warehouses for wealthy traders. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Asien 1972-73
This broken bridge once spanned the Karkheh River, Luristan, south-western Iran. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(Uploaded August 2017)

 

(Revised continuously)