Monday, January 12, 2015

A Bridge Too Far?

Barges on the River Seine, Paris, France
I was checking out the Solo Traveler Blog recently, and couldn’t resist adding a comment to a blog post on the site written by Janice Waugh. Titled Bridges, New Perspectives and Solo Travel, Janice writes (in part: “To get the big picture of a city you need to stand back and the best way I’ve found for doing so is by walking a bridge. […] A bridge, by providing some distance, offers new perspectives on a city.

In my comment I wrote:
“Wow! And I thought I was the only 'bridge walker' out there. I have a 'thing' about bridges anyway, but I will always walk across a bridge if the opportunity presents itself. Along with the usual Brooklyn Bridge walk, I have walked across the George Washington Bridge (I can legitimately claim to have walked from New York to New Jersey), and the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges. On my next visit to NYC, I hope to get an opportunity to walk across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that links Brooklyn with Staten Island.
Speaking of the George Washington Bridge (GWB), I walked across it a few months after the event referred to as the 'Miracle On The Hudson' took place in January, 2014. I'm referring to the incident in which Captain Chesley Sullenberger landed United Airlines flight 1549 in the middle of the Hudson River. Standing on the walkway in the centre of the GWB while looking down river gave me some sense of the view that Cpt. Sellenberger must have been looking at as he flew low over the bridge towards his eventual touch down on the river near Midtown Manhattan. And it was a very sobering view to be sure.
If you are looking for a new perspective on a well known city, do what I also like to do -- hit the water. I never miss an opportunity to take a ferry ride, river cruise, or some other type of water borne transport when I travel. Cruises around the waters of New York City abound, and the views from the Hudson and East rivers bring a whole new perspective to that amazing city. I've taken short cruises on the Mississippi (out of New Orleans), the Mekong River (out of Phnom Penh), on Melbourne's Yarra River, and numerous others. Then there are harbour cruises that can be just as interesting -- if not more so. If you have ever had the opportunity to cruise on, or just catch a ferry across Sydney Harbour you will understand what I mean.”
With regard to harbor cruises in particular, regular visitors to this blog will have seen my numerous entries and updates for the wonderful Hidden Harbor tours organised by New York City’s Working Harbor Committee. These provide a unique insight into the (generally) unseen industry that helps to keep New York City and New Jersey ticking.

A bridge too far? Not far enough in my opinion.

By the way, if you are a solo traveller already, or interested in going solo, the Solo Traveler Blog is a fantastic resource for all manner of information related to solo travel. Check it out and look for the free eBooks available via the site, and subscribe to the weekly newsletter as well. Happy (solo) travelling.

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