Saturday, 28 July 2018

A Pop Up Bridge - Xtra Special Day


One of the best things about having moved to live in the eastern half of Northern Ireland is the proximity to the Mourne Mountains. 

As we drive south along the A1 towards Banbridge  I laugh when my husband Fred says "Look at that view".  I don't even have to look because I know he is referring to the beautiful outline of the Mountains of Mourne.





Occasionally he doesn't make this remark but replaces it with "The clouds are spoiling the view of the Mournes today" in a very disappointed tone.

We often say it would be lovely to take a picture of that view but in a car on the dual carriageway that is not possible.

When our son Jonathan comes to visit we quite often find ourselves heading off for an afternoon to somewhere around or within this mountain range and that was exactly what we did when he was here a few weeks ago.

We had our granddaughter's birthday party on the Tuesday afternoon at 3pm but we still had the morning free so off we drove ready to get some good pictures (we hoped) of the latest point of interest in our Wee Country.


Yes we were off to see a Pop Up Bridge.


I'm calling it that because I keep hearing about Pop up shops, cafes and whatever and this bridge could be said to just have popped up because it literally just appeared suddenly.

The bridge is in the middle of a reservoir at Spelga Dam in the heart of the Mourne Mountains.




Normally no-one can see the bridge because the reservoir water level is high so the bridge is always under the water.

This summer has been so dry (even though Northern Ireland is known for it's rain) and without the usual rainfall the level of the water in the reservoir fell noticeably.   This picture below shows the different water level marks on the side of the dam and it is very obvious that the water level this month was much much lower than normal.





So for the first time in our lifetime this stone bridge (normally hidden by the height of water) was clearly seen




and it was possible to walk across it into the centre of the water in the reservoir.

From the car park where my husband Fred took the panoramic picture above the bridge can hardly be seen in the distance and the people walking along it were hard to distinguish but many people had been coming day after to see this spectacle and walk where there was normally water and no path.

We took quite a few pictures from the car park and then drove on round to find somewhere closer to the bridge.

We found a road down to a pathway to the reservoir and left the car there with many others to start the walk to the bridge.




This pathway was not part of the bridge.

This was the start of the bridge, the rough ground after the smoother pathway.




As you can see from the cyclist the bridge was at a lower level than the pathway and he was having a hard job to get his bike back up again.


Once on the bridge we could see the poor condition of the ground we were walking on but then it had been under water for many many years.




There were lots of people there that day to walk the bridge and they kept passing us
because we stopped to take so many pictures trying to get a good angle on the arch of the bridge.


After many stops we arrived at the arch of the bridge and of course stopped again to take more photos.

As quite often happens we took some of each other taking photos of each other - if you get what I mean.



Some little videos were grabbed as well, like the one showing exactly what happened after this last picture had been taken.


Then there was a very strange sight, Fred had gone on ahead more quickly than Jonathan & I so that he could do something different, something you normally don't do on a bridge




he greeted us from his seat on part of the broken pathway under a tree!

We took more pics here at this spot and then continued along the pathway for quite a distance until we got to the end of it.


Not only did we walk across it as far as was possible but I did what many people know I like to do - I had a little paddle (just don't tell anyone I had my bare foot in the reservoir water).












4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place to spend some time....The views are stunning! #PoCoLo

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  2. Wow that looks stunning, when I saw your title I didn't know what to think but what a great discovery, its amazing what happens when the sun comes out. Although it has now disappeared in London.

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  3. Beautiful trip and amazing scenes.

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  4. What a wonderful way to spend the day. Beautiful photos!

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