Wednesday 8 November 2023

Isambard Kingdom Brunel and other things

 We caught the bus to Bristol for a bit of history and culture.

Not sure what these giant ear trumpets are for on this bridge over the River Avon,but they looked nice. 

We followed a path west towards the sea and round a bend to see a first glimpse of the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, in all of its glory.

The first thing to notice is that it is very high, and it is going to take quite an effort to get up to it. In days gone by a funicular style railway used to take people up to the top of the cliff, but that shut in 1930s. All that is left is the sad boarded up front to it. 

Having no choice, we marched up the extremely steep zig zag path nearby and eventually got to the top, which is 74 metres above high tide level.

Interesting facts, the total length of the bridge is 412 metres and it spans a gap of 214 metres. It was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and work on the pillars started in 1831. It then stopped for over 30 years as they ran out of money, but after Brunel died in 1859 it was decided to finish the job as a memorial to him.

It is free to walk across, £1 to drive over and there is a very nice visitor centre all about the Bridge and Mr Brunel at the other end. 

We continued on our way to our next destination, Spike Island, enjoying the views of brightly painted terraces on the opposite bank. 

Just around the corner from this photo we stopped for a rest at a little coffee cart, and sat at the outdoor tables. As we left I asked the barista if she knew where the Banksy graffiti was. If we had turned our chairs around we could have sat and admired it from there!

It is called 'Girl with a pierced eardrum' after the famous Vermeer painting 'Girl with a pearl earring'. In the Banksy art the earring is actually a burglar alarm box. It has been there since 2014 and fortunately has only been slightly damaged.

Finally, we followed the waterfront back round and there is a well preserved railway line and trucks right alongside it.

No comments:

Post a Comment