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Groningen from the Canal(s)

Like most Dutch cities/towns Groningen is built round canals. (Or they were built round it.)

This is an unusually wide expanse of water where at least two of them meet:-

I include the one below mainly for the flag on the prow of the boat in the picture. It’s quartered in red and blue, the quarters centred on a white cross with what at first I thought was a blue cross within. (I’d seen it at a distance flying on a house just outside Opende.) I worked out it was the flag of Groningen Province after seeing a different flag, blue with white diagonal stripes containing red hearts, which was obviously that of Friesland. On seeing Groningen’s flag closely the central cross is green.

There are lots of lovely buildings on the canal:-

The Martini Tower used to be the tallest bulding in Groningen. It still is for the town centre but a taller one now lies on the outskirts. It was very difficult to snap the tower from the boat. Street furniture kept getting in the way.

Or splashes on the boat’s windows!!

Another wide expanse of canal allowed this of the tower in the distance:-

This is the tower from the town centre:-

It has a sundial about halfway up:-

Another striking building:-

We were told this is the smallest house in Groningen. It’s the one in the right-hand part of the white building (and the right half of that):-

Interesting corner building here. Not to mention the statue of the kneeling figure:-

Many of the bridges over the canals in Groningen have to open up to allow the boats underneath. This is one of them:-

New Aircraft Carrier

We were along the Fife coast a fortnight or so ago; at Limekilns where there is a good view of Rosyth Dockyard and the Forth Bridges.

Currently fitting out at the dockyard is the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier – the one there won’t be any planes for once it is completed. Both bridges are in the background.

Kinlochleven

On our way back home we stopped briefly to walk on to the bridge over the mouth of Loch Leven at Ballachulish. The good lady bagged these two photos first.

Looking back towards Loch Linnhe from Ballachulish bridge:-

Loch Leven from Ballachulish bridge:-

Having time to spare and it being a lovely evening we decided to take the long way round the loch through Kinlochleven.

There used to be an aluminium smelter at Kinlochleven for which its own (hydroelectric) power station was required. As a result Kinlochleven became the first village in the world to have every house connected to electricity, coining the phrase “The Electric Village.” The smelter shut down in 1996. The photo below is of the power station outflow.

Hills (and bridge over the River Leven) at Kinlochleven:-

From the bridge above I could see a chippy with an Art Deco style frontage. The photo was taken from a distance so it was difficult to tell if the business is still going.

Situated on the outskirts of the village on the southern edge is the War Memorial; a simple Celtic cross on a stepped pyramidal base. Dedicated to the men of Kinlochleven who gave their lives in the Great Wars, 1914-18, 1939-45:-

Modern Glasgow 2

The first is engineering rather than architecture. The Clyde Arc – immediately dubbed by local wags the Squinty Bridge as it crosses the River Clyde on a diagonal. Also in the photo is the Finnieston crane – all that remains of the shipyards that once lined the River Clyde here.

Right next to the Glasgow Science Centre (see previous posts) on the south bank of the Clyde is the new BBC Scotland building. It looks externally like a giant shoe box. Internally it’s more interesting as anyone who’s seen television interviews given inside will know.

The entrance is on the west side and is adorned with BBC Alba as well as BBC Scotland. There is a largeish scuptural thingy here too on the right of the photo. (Squinty Bridge in background on left.)

This is how the BBC building looks from the north bank of the Clyde.

Just a touch along the south bank towards the Squinty Bridge lies the premises of STV (Scottish Television) part of the Independent Television network, ITV. This shows the STV logo at the access road (and the Finnieston Crane.)

This is a closer view of the STV building. Another shoe box, though smaller than the BBC Scotland one. The round building to the right was I believe once an entrance to a pedestrian tunnel under the Clyde. (There is a similar rotunda building where it debouched on the north bank which now houses four restaurants.)

Satellite 4

So. That was Eastercon.

The Convention hotel (the Crowne Plaza, formerly the Moat House) was hard by the River Clyde. It’s the tall building. The footbridge is called the Bell’s Bridge.

The bridge is in its swung open position here.

I met quite a lot of old acquaintances and made some new ones. Plus I bought two books.

The two panels I was on went well and I didn’t make a fool of myself (I think.) The one on steampunk had an unexpected extra panellist.

Yes, a steam driven dalek!

Well, a dalek made to look steam driven by fellow panellist Peter Harrow, a fount of information on all things steampunk. It was actually radio-controlled. The chocolate rabbit was a nice touch.

Small Bridge in Biggar

Between the War Memorial and the Art Deco hairdresser’s in Biggar, Lanarkshire (posts passim) there runs a burn.* Over it lies a nice arched bridge.

Small bridge in Biggar

And this is the reverse view:-

Biggar Bridge 2

*For those who may not be familiar with the word, burn is Scots for stream.

Bridge at Kelso

At Kelso there is a fine bridge over the River Tweed.

Bridge over Tweed at Kelso

From its parapet you get a view of Floors Castle in the distance. (You might have to zoom in on the photo though.)

Floors Castle from Bridge over Tweed

Musselburgh Bridges

No town feels complete unless it has a river.

In Musselburgh the River Esk runs through the town. I spotted three bridges there.

This first one carries the main road over the River Esk. The photo was taken from a point just down a few steps from the War Memorial.

Bridge over River Esk Musselburgh

This is a view of the other side of the same bridge. Nice arched spans.

River Esk and bridge

Looking upstream from near the bridge in the above photo you can see a second bridge. This looks to be of older vintage. The near bank had nice planting.

Second Bridge over River Esk, Musselburgh

(The third bridge was downstream of these two and very flat and boring, possibly a pedestrian bridge.)

William Wordsworth and Cockermouth

Cockermouth’s most famous son is the poet William Wordsworth.

There is a huge statue of a Lord Mayo on Main Street, though. From the inscription it sounds like Mayo was a bit of an imperial adventurer. He became Viceroy of India and was assassinated in the Andaman Islands!

Anyway, below is Wordsworth’s boyhood home on the junction of Main Street (right) and Crown Street (left.)

Quite imposing. And difficult to photograph without a car in the shot!

We viewed the house and garden – both overseen by the National Trust. We got there just as it was opening at eleven a.m. and there was a queue. Apparently at the height of the tourist season it’s mobbed.

William Wordsworth's Boyhood House, Cockermouth

Here’s a view of the garden from the house. It’s a bit sparse looking after the coldest early spring in Britain for 50 years. The River Derwent is a footpath or so beyond the wall at the back. It was from the terrace there I photographed the bridge over the Derwent I featured a couple of posts ago.

Garden from Wm Wordsworth's House

There is a small bust of Wordsworth on a pedestal on Gallowbarro – the bar of the “T” to Main Street and Crown Street.

Bust of William Wordsworth, Cockermouth

Just to the right of where I took the above photo is a memorial fountain to both William and his sister Dorothy. This was taken at more or less a right angle to where I photographed their childhood home.

Memorial Fountain to William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Cockermouth

Cockermouth, Cumbria

On our trip last week we were based in Cockermouth, at the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria. It has an elegant bridge over the River Derwent.

Bridge over River Derwent

Not to mention this rather Grand Theatre on Station Road. The lower windows prefigure Art Deco but the building as a whole looks older.

Grand Theatre

And of course there’s a War Memorial, which is further up Station Road from the town. (I’m not too keen on these ones with an angel on top.)

Cockermouth War Memorial

The names of the fallen are on the reverse side (which it is difficult to photograph while at the same time avoiding getting the petrol station in th eframe.)

Cockermouth War Memorial Reverse View

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