Sunday, May 25, 2014

Greece Road Trip: Bridging the Gulf

The area in which we live in the Pacific Northwest is laced with rivers and lakes. The bridges that cross them for the most part are nondescript concrete structures lacking both style and personality. Little attention is paid to them - unless one collapses, as happened about a year ago on a major state highway. 

So, we didn’t give much thought to the bridge we would cross as we left the town of Patras in the Peloponnese and set off for Western Greece,  . . .that is, until we approached the Rio-Andirio Suspension Bridge

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The bridge links the town of Rio in the Peloponnese to Andirio on the Western mainland, thus the bridge's name. Until it was built, ferries transported cars across this body of water where the Corinth Gulf meets the Patraikos Gulf. (While down the road that stretch of the Corinth Gulf and its narrow canal gets all the tourist-hype, we found this area to be equally deserving of attention.)

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Its official name is the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, named after the statesman who envisioned it, although it is seldom referred to as that, even in guidebooks.

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At 2,900 meters (9,514 feet – just short of two miles) in length, it is either the longest cable suspension bridge in the world, or tied for first place, depending on your source.

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Construction began in 1996 and the toll bridge was inaugurated in 2004. The price of crossing it in a passenger vehicle is costly: $13-euros each way. But oh, what an experience it was, like driving through a giant sculpture.

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Luckily the town in which we spent a night after crossing the bridge wasn’t far from it so we had a bit more time to enjoy this Grecian architectural wonder.

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Have you traveled across a memorable bridge? If so, where was it and what made it memorable?

Hope you’ll be back next week when we will make one ‘sweet’ stop in Crete on Foodie Tuesday. Until then, thanks for your time and happy travels ~

15 comments:

  1. Oh this is just amazing - I will HAVE to make this trip now - you have captured it so beautifully and I love the photos looking up. Well done - you have given me another place to visit next year. Thank you F xx

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    1. Oh Francesca, you sound like us. . .so many places to revisit and so many new ones to explore that a single trip to Greece just isn't enough time to see and do it all! Hope you make it there next year - let me know the dates if you do, we might actually overlap~ Hugs, J.

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  2. I really admire the stories of your travels and the photographs. I am a terrible photographer, even with a good camera, so I really appreciate yours. xx's

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    1. Oh Marsha, you should see the number of times I hit the delete button when looking over my photos! But your nice words brought a smile to my face. Thanks for the visit, hope to see you back again, soon~ xx J.

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  3. WOW! What a magnificent structure!! I'm a sucker for bridges. There's something so marvelous about traveling over water or a deep ravine. :-)

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    1. I am so with you on bridges - they are like boats and trains for me, signifying adventure, new horizons and discovers and in the case of the bridge it reminds me I am leaving something behind to find hopefully something wonderful ahead. Thanks for the visit and happy week ahead to you!

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  4. great driving pics! we crossed a bridge similar to this in France - amazing! Evidently it cut hours off the original trip. Happy travels and thanks for stopping by my blog today.
    cheers

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    1. Maybe your French bridge is the one that some references say is the longest or tied for the longest bridge - that I mentioned above. Now that you mention it, I think we crossed such a bridge in France. . .were you in Northern France?

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  5. Beautiful bridge. It reminds me of one of those built by Calatrava.

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    1. I appreciate when both functionality and appearances merge into something spectacular like stunning bridges. Thanks for your visit today Irene - always appreciated!

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  6. It's a very elegant structure, Jackie. Having grown up in Sydney, I was used to seeing the Harbour Bridge a lot, but I never got tired of it. I walked across it a couple of times, too. My other favorite bridge is San Francisco's Golden Gate, from my visits there.

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    1. Oh Andrew, that Harbour Bridge of Sydney is so beautiful, so amazing and such an asset that I can see why you'd never get tired of it. Wish we'd have had time to walk across it last fall! Thanks for the visit!

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  7. That's quite a bridge. It reminds me of the Millau in southern France!

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    1. I've not seen the Millau, but if it is like this, then I would certainly like to one day. Thanks for taking time to comment Corinne! Hope to see you back again soon~

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  8. I made that Ferry trip with my family in 1998 and haven't been there since. The bridge is gorgeous and I'm sure worth the toll! I am glad to see that some of the newer architecture in Greece is getting recognition.

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