Sunday, October 05, 2014

Antwerp 1914 - 1918

A highlight of this commemorative programme is the contemporary reconstruction of the 1914 pontoon bridge, symbolising the connection between the past, present and future. The temporary pontoon bridge across the River Scheldt near Steen Fortress will be built by Belgian and Dutch engineer battalions. The bridge allowed a lot of people of the city to flee to the UK or Holland on the 7th of Octobre 1914.
So, as my dad and I are from Antwerp, we had to corss the bridge as our forefathers. We managed to get some of the 100,000 tickets that were available, but not together, so my parents, kids and au pair crossed the bridge in the morning.

The bridge while people are crossing it in the morning.

Waiting for the crossing, I guess 100 years ago, people were not laughing as there was panic as the Germans were advancing on the city...

All th eboats that have to push the bridge against the very strong current of the River Scheldt.

Once crossed, there were a lot of activities.

Every now and then the bridge has to be broken up to change boat positions as the River Scheldt has tides or if the boats needs to be fueled or if schips have to pass...

The city showed herself at her best for the tourists I guess. All these pictures were not taken by me, but by our au pair or my dad.

The boys and Mum as they are crossing the bridge.

Son #1 and our au pair.
Allmost at the other side.

One of the activities.

In the evening, DH and I went to the city to cross the bridge, but we first went out to diner.
Had a bite to eat at comocomo, great tapas.

But when we left the restaurant it started raining, luckily we got one of the last umbrellas at one of the tourist shops... as this was the line at 22.00.

At 22.30, we crossed the bridge, in a full blown storm, it added to teh atmosphere, as it rained,was cold and windy and everybody wanted to cross the bridge as fast as possible.

On the other side, the view was spectacular.

And yes, we did it, it has a strange feeling to know that this was the way many people were able to get away from the city you were born... But I am glad we had the opportunity.


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