In this time of social isolation, things that connect us are particularly important, aren't they? Which is why Gail and I decided on the theme of bridges for this week's 'walk from home' excursion.
It was lovely and sunny when we set off on Friday morning to walk across all the bridges spanning the River Dee in Aberdeen. Look, you can see the first and oldest one, the not very originally named Bridge of Dee in the distance here.
A well proportioned and attractive bridge, I think. It's been around since medieval times, although with lots of upgrades over the years.
Unfortunately the pavement is still too narrow to allow room for pedestrians to pass with ease, and this was so even before social distancing was invented. Luckily there were few people around on Friday.
From Bridge of Dee we head downstream along the river to the King George VI Bridge. This one was completed in 1941, and has a nice wide pavement giving plenty of space for dogs, people and cyclists as well as all the road traffic.
So we cross this bridge and continue along the north side of the river. Fortunately the trees are not yet fully in leaf, so we can peek between the branches look back at the bridge's granite arches sparkling in the sunshine (almost!)
Next comes the railway bridge, although this does't really count for the purposes of today's walk, as only trains are allowed to use it. Gail wondered if we should wait to get a photo of a train crossing the bridge, but then remembered that there are scarcely any running at the moment, so she decided to press on.
Suddenly, as we came closer to the harbour, the sun disappeared behind a wall of haar (sea fog) and the temperature dropped about 10ºC. So the next photo is a bit dark, but maybe you can make out that there are two bridges right next to each other here. In the foreground is the Wellington Suspension Bridge (1831) and behind it the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (1984).
Oooh, one last little bit of blue sky reappears as I cross the suspension bridge. This is my favourite bridge as not only is it pretty, but motor vehicles are not allowed these days and so I can stroll at leisure down the middle of the walkway, like I own it.
The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge is not pretty, as you can see below. Frankly, I don't know what our dear Queen did to deserve having such an ugly bit of infrastructure named after her.
She might even be a bit jealous of her forbear Queen Victoria, for whom today's final bridge is named. The Victoria Bridge was completed in 1881, in the wake of a ferry boat disaster in which 32 people drowned. It might not be spectacular, but is at least pleasingly shapely and symmetrical.
And it really is of no concern to me that Gail says it's not a comfortable bridge to cycle across, because the roadway is still surfaced with the original cobbles.
Downstream of the Victoria Bridge is the harbour. I'm feeling a bit chilly sitting here with the cool damp air drifting off the North Sea, so it's time to head home and warm up.
I hope you enjoyed our little outing today. Below is a map of the route, which was 4.2 miles long.