It’s not the ships passing underneath the bridge, its the bridge passing underneath the ships. Sounds mad?
Well, the bridge, officially opened today by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is the world’s largest bridge. Across 55 km, it connects Hongkonk with Macau and the Chinese mainland. It took nine years to complete and cost US$20 billion.
For comparison: the shortest distance between the North of Ireland and Scotland is just 12 miles or less than 20 km. – Although, to my knowledge, nobody has ever considered to build a bridge here.
What I found most interesting about this bridge is, and here comes the “mad” bit, that a 6.7 km stretch of it is not a bridge at all, but a tunnel between two artificial islands, designed to allow ships pass freely through (above) the path of the bridge, well: the tunnel.
Seems they couldn’t make up their mind. Bridge? Tunnel? – Well, let’s do both. There’s enough of a distance not to exclude any of those possible options, eh?
Personally, I’ve always liked the idea of a tunnel. People are always talking about ‘bridge building’, not just between places, but also between communities, political parties, countries and their people.
As we know, bridges tend to collapse. Have you ever heard of a tunnel collapsing? No.
Last time I came here, I drove and needed ferries, bridges, tunnels and a lot of time to get here. Today, it felt like I was beamed here.
Tuesday is, of course, swimming day with Pádraig. Thankfully, I’m feeling a bit better today, still not great, but good enough to get into the water. I don’t think I could ever explain how happy I am when I see Pádraig enjoying floating around, kicking his legs, walking across the pool, standing, with very little help from us, on the site of the pool, holding on to the wall. For him, it must be one of the most liberating experiences of the week. To float, to control his movements with so much ease, and to have fun. Today, we were practicing the back-crawl start, pushing yourself away with your feed from the wall. It was fantastic!
After swimming, I got a lift to the airport and now, just a few hours later, I’m back in Burgau for the night. I’ll be meeting a few people tomorrow in the Therapy Centre and will be visiting an Aftercare Centre (also built by Mr Schuster and his foundation) in nearby Augsburg, before returning home in the evening.
It still amazes me, how travel has changed. And, in a way, I wonder, whether stuff like bridges and tunnels are not artefacts of the past….