April 22, 2011

Drawbridge @ St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is laid out on 42 islands and crossed by the Neva river and other canals. So it is only natural that they have a lot of bridges to connect all these islands. There are 342 bridges to be exact.

22 of these bridges are drawn during the navigation season from April to November, to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea into the Volga-Baltic waterway system.

Usually we see all these drawbridges in movies, at the entrance of the castles.

But that is a small one. These drawbridges in St. Petersburg, my friends, are big. Most of them are part of the main roads in the city. So I was very eager to see how these bridges are being drawn.

My sisters and I went sightseeing and walked over Palace Bridge in front of The Winter Palace but we couldn't see any signs showing that the bridge can be drawn.

Okay there are a few signs.

But I think they are unconvincing. haha... The gap doesn't look wide enough for the bridge to open.

So that night, we (and hoards of other tourists) waited eagerly along the Neva river, stayed up to catch the first bridge to open at 1.25am. 

When the bridge started to move upward, everybody cheered and clapped. 

What amazed me was that the drawing was quite fast.

Watch my video. The video's duration is 3:31 and the bridge was completely drawn by the end of it. So, the process is less than 5 minutes!


They change colors too. hehehe... 

These bridges will stay opened for a certain period of time. A calculated schedule with precise time of consecutive opening and closing for each bridge is maintained to guarantee passage of cargo ships and tankers at a precisely controlled speed.

Trinity Bridge

Oh yeah... if you plan to watch it yourself, I know you'll be excited but do remember to be on the right side of the river ok. Unless you wanna swim across the river back to your hotel? Because the bridge will not be closed back until hours later.

If the opening is interesting, even more interesting is when they are closing back. People said the cars on both sides start going just like the starting of an F1 race.

Too bad I didn't get to watch it. The Palace Bridge will only be closed back at 4.55am. Tak larat nak tunggu -_-

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