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Karmsund Strait, Norway

The west coast of mainland Norway has a collection of islands off it which provide a reasonably sheltered passage north (or south.) Many ferries ply the waters, a vital lifeline in the days before North Sea oil and the building of roads to remoter regions, and still going.

Karmsund Strait is a passage between the island of Karmøy and the islands of Vestre Bokn and the mainland in the east.

The MV Black Watch approached the narrowest point of the strait towards nightfall:-

Nearing Karmsund Strait, Norway

These were electric pylons on Karmøy but not I think the ones on the photograph on the link above:-

Cable Pylons at Karmsund Strait

The very elegant Karmsund Bridge crosses the strait’s narrowest point:-

Bridge at Karmsund, Norway

Closer view. Note more pylons:-

Bridge at Karmsund, Closer View

Karmsund Bridge from below:-

Karmsund Bridge from Below

Reverse view:-

Karmsund Bridge Reverse View

The area was fairly built-up compared to the previous parts of Norway we’d seen:-

Houses by Karmsund Strait

There was even a house which might be described as Art Deco:-

Deco Style at Karmsund Strait

These were more Moderne than Deco:-

Moderne Style at Karmsund Strait

Lysefjord (iv) Bridge

The Norwegians have invested their oil extraction revenues into a fund that benefits every Norwegian. In addition they have built roads through their country, tunnelling through the mountains from fjord to fjord.

Not to mention bridges across the narrowest point of some fjords like this elegant one across Lysefjord:-

Bridge over Lysefjord, Norway

Closer view:-

Bridge over Lysefjord, Closer View

From below:-

Bridge Over Lysefjord from Below

There’s a solid rock mountain at one end of the bridge necessitating a sharp right turn (or left turn if you’re coming the other way):-

Bridge Over Lysefjord, Tight Turn

Reverse view:-

Bridge over Lysefjord, Reverse View

Edited to add:- there are some more photpgraphs of the bridge here. looking at the one on the right hand-side of the page it seems you can turn right or left (through a tunnel) at the cliff end of the bridge; which wasn’t obvious from fjord level.

Pont Du Normandie

I didn’t look behind us as we strolled fom the SS Black Watch to Honfleur. When we got to town I saw a sign to Pont du Normandie but I hadn’t realised how close it was.

I soon found out when we walked a bit west from Honfleur harbour:-

Pont du Normandie from Honfleur

The bridge was very obvious when we were walking back to the ship but the best view was from the deck once we were back on board:-

Pont du Normandie from Seine at Honfleur

Later in the afternoon the lighting conditions had changed. The rain clouds had gone away.

Pont du Normandie in Sunshine

Over the other side of the River Seine near to Le Havre I could see this road bridge. Morning aspect:-

Road Bridge near Le Havre

The same bridge in the afternoon’s lighting conditions:-

Road Bridge near Le Havre

Canal Bridges, Bruges

When we saw a notice advertising boat trips on the canal in Bruges we opted for one straight away. These photos mostly feature bridges over the canal(s).

Setting off:-

Bruges by Boat 1

Typical view:-

View from Boat, Bruges

Not quite “mind your head”:-

Under Canal Bridge, Bruges

But certainly do this time. I think this was the one the guide said was the lowest:-

Lowest Bridge, Bruges

Looking back to low bridge:-

Looking back to Low Bridge, Bruges

Bridge and swans:-

Bridge and Swans, Bruges

Furthest bridge on the trip. I think the building beyond the bridge is something to do with the water management system in Bruges:-

Furthest Bridge, Bruges

Side bridge and swans. The bridge wasn’t one we went under. It looks too low for that:-

Side Bridge and Swans, Bruges

Bruges Canals

As well as fine buildings Bruges is replete with water and is sometimes known as The Venice of the North. I’ve never been to Venice but Bruges is certainly lovely, whatever.

The church in the background here is Bruges Cathedral, The Church of Our Lady:-

A Canal, Bruges

This shows the bridge from which the previous photo was taken:-

Canal and Bridge, Bruges

And this the view from the bridge to the other side:-

Canal, Bruges

View of same building left above from the opposite canal bank:-

Canalside, Bruges

And round the corner:-

Canal, Bruges

Canal and bridge:-

Bridge and Canal, Bruges

Canal:-

Canal, Bruges

Another bridge:-

Canal, Bridge, Bruges

The Humber Bridge, Leaving Hull

The Humber Bridge from King George Dock, Hull:-

Humber Bridge from Hull

The exit from King George Dock is through a sea lock. A very tight squeeze! Looking directly down the ship’s side:-

Tight Squeeze

Other side of ship. Only centimetres of water between ship and lock side:-

Tight Squeeze 2

The sea lock:-

Hull sea lock 1

Lock emptying:-

Hull sea lock 2

Nearly at level:-

Hull sea lock 3

Finally moving off:-

Hull sea lock 4

Humber Bridge from Humber Estuary:-

Humber Bridge from Humber Estuary

I never did see the KCom stadium but on the way out of the Humber I spotted the very distinctive Grimsby Dock Tower (picture from Wikipedia):-

Grimsby Dock Tower

Some way beyond it were the four floodlight pylons of what looked very like a football ground which I assume must have been Blundell Park, home of Grimsby Town FC, though it seems the ground is actually in Cleethorpes.

Porto Metro System

Porto (Oporto) has a brilliant tram/metro system with six different lines (which sometimes meet up) and 80 or so stations.

It was the first time on the cruise we’d had to negotiate a foreign transport network, but the ticketing machine had an English option and was easy to use. The tickets were also cheap. For a fifteen or so stop ride into Porto from Matosinhos the cost was €2.60 return; for two!

The one we got on was heading for the home of Porto FC, Estádio do Dragão, but we had been told to get off at Trindad for the main part of the city so I never saw the stadium.

These photos were all taken on the way back when we had to make a change.

Porto Metro Tram

There are at least two types of tram on the Porto Metro system as seen here:-

Porto Metro Trams

The tram on the opposite track was going to the Estádio do Dragão. You can just about make that out on its destination board, even though it’s coupled up:-

metro 3

Our final destination tram to Senhor de Matosinhos, though our stop was Matosinhos Sul:-

Porto Metro

Porto’s metro system – it’s really a light rail – goes along streets, underground and even over the River Douro via the Dom Luis I bridge (Puente Don Luis I):-

Porto Metro Bridge

Avilés, Asturias, Spain

The photograph below is of a colourful bridge which is the second part of the direct pedestrian access to the Centro Niemeyer from Avilés town and which we used in the afternoon. Another (curved) walkway leading to a small park (once you cross the railway and the road on shore) lies behind. We used that one to get to the town in the morning:-

Colourful Bridge, Avilés, Asturias, Spain

View of buildings in Avilés taken from the from same vantage point as the photo above. There were men precariously at work on the roof of the building which has blue sheeting on its gable! (just to left of centre of photo.):-

Avilés From Bridge to Town

Balconies were a feature of lots of buildings in Avilés. Also spot the street sculpture in the roadway below the yellow/mustard coloured building and the mural beyond:-

Balconies, Sculpture and Gable-end Mural

As we were walking through the town a local heard us speaking English and kindly directed us to an example of what is apparently a traditional kind of Asturian building. On wooden stilts! It was the only one of its kind we saw though:-

a4 poster 1

Avilés has lots of old buildings like this church, Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari de Avilés:-

Panorama of Church

The City Hall is much more recent though:-

City Hall, Avilés

Vizcaya Transporter Bridge, Getxo

The coach trip to Bilbao had taken us through Getxo itself and given us a brief view of the Vizcaya Transporter Bridge, a UNESCO-listed Industrial Revolution icon, which carries people over the Ria Nervión between Las Arenas and Portugalete. Turning the corner of Getxo promenade takes you onto the riverside with a great view of the bridge:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo

Closer view:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo

I took a couple of videos of the bridge in operation. A gondola slung from the supports is the means of transportation. (Click on the pictures to take you to the videos.)

Vizcaya Transporter Bridge in Operation

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo in Operation

Compare the Tees Transporter Bridge at Middlesbrough.

End-on view of Vizcaya Bridge from Getxo:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo, End-on

Nice square and fountain as seen in above photo but this time from the bridge ramp:-

Fountain, Getxo

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Exterior Exhibits

There are external and internal exhibits at the Guggenheim.

The steel spheres are Tall Tree and The Eye by Anish Kapoor. They are surrounded here by FOG, an installation by Fujiko Nakaya. The mist switches on every so often:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, FOG and Reflections

The giant spider (Maman) protecting her clutch of eggs is by Louise Bourgeois:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao FOG + Spider Sculpture

Salbeko Zubia Bridge, Bilbao, FOG and Spider:-

Salbeko Zubia Bridge, Bilbao, FOG and Spider

Tulips by Jeff Koons:-

Jeff Koons Tulips, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Tulips, Salbeko Zubia Bridge in background:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao + Bridge

Puppy by Jeff Koons. A giant West Highland Terrier covered in flowers. The flowers bloom at different times of the year so the exhibit is always changing. From Museum:-

Jeff Koons Puppy,  Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Puppy, museum in background:-

Jeff Koons Puppy, Front

Puppy and museum:-

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao  and Koons Puppy

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