Saturday, January 22, 2011

"London Bridge is Falling Down".....

........ and then was rebuilt over a bay at Lake Havasu, Arizona




There have been a succession of bridges called the 'London Bridge' built over the River Thames for more than 2000 years, all being distroyed and replaced because of disrepair or political upheavals.

In 1014, during one such upheaval, (according to tradition), the bridge at that time was destroyed by Norwegian prince Olaf, in a successful bid to divide the defending forces of Danes who held the city of London, thereby regaining London for the Anglo-Saxon king.  This has been thought to have inspired the nursery rhyme, "London Bridge is Falling Down."

The bridge just prior to the bridge photographed above, was the 'old' medieval bridge and had 19 arches, shops build along the bridge, and gatehouses.  It is often mistaken for the bridge a ways away that had towers.  The southern gatehouse was a notorious place in London's history as the severed heads of traitors were impaled on pikes and displayed there.  This 'tradition' started in 1305 and continued for 355 years.  At one time in 1598 there were over 30 heads for 'commuters' to view.  After 600 years, this bridge had to be replaced. 

The 'new' bridge, (above), was engineered by John Rennie and opened in 1831.  As the years passed, this became one of the most congested and heavily traveled roads to London.  The bridge was widened to accommodate the heavy traffic, but that weakened the foundations, and so it had to be removed and replaced.

The bridge was purchased by Robert P McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2,460,000.   He then paid n additional $2,700,000 to have it transported and rebuilt at Lake Havasu City, in the middle of the Arizona desert.   It was dedicated in 1971.   McCulloch felt he needed an attraction to draw investors to his new 'retirement' town out in the middle of 'nowhere'.

In my humble opinion, if you are thinking about traveling to Lake Havasu just to see the London Bridge, don't waste your time.  The only thing that was impressive when we were there was the beautiful sky.  Well, you might be impressed if you like dessert and trailer parks!  And when I say desert, I don't mean the beautiful Saguaro cactus type desert.  However, if you live where the winters are cold, and you want to be a snowbird, this area might be for you.  Between Lake Havasu City, and Yuma, we have never seen so many RV resorts, trailers, fifth wheels, motor homes,  and campers in our lives!!  Our son in law tells us that in the little town of Yuma, there are over 23,000 trailer spaces and the population doubles in the winter.  And in the summer when they all go home, many businesses just close up.

13 comments:

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

My sentiments exactly with "don't waste your time". Honestly, the bridge would have a greater visual impact if it was situated by itself in the middle of nonethingness in the desert. But, we made the point of seeing it just because it was there.

Robin said...

Karen, I find that rather odd for some reason! Is the bridge in actual use, or is it just there?
The sky is really something. I don't think I've ever seen it like that!

Sandra said...

before i got to the bottom of the post, i thought you had jetted over to the UK and grabbed a shot for us to see. amazing bridge, but i will pass on the desert and RV parks. our town doubles in the winter to. right now we are so congested a trip to Walmart has me chomping at the bit. we put up with it all and heave a big sigh of relief when Easter comes and we get our road ways back, thanks for the history on the old bridge.

WhatKarenSees said...

Robin, yes, it is in use. The developer of the area, created the bay, and a place to 'go to', so the bridge is actually functional. They have tried to make it a tourist spot with English style stores, etc. but it just is weird!

Ginny said...

I didn't know any of this!! Wow to that sky! And the first picture looks just like a postcard, I love that you got the sign in the lower right corner. The one in London had shops on it? Well, I would like to go in them! I still would like to see the transplanted one, too!

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Karen,
Superb processing, I like the cloudscapes in the second post.
Have a great weekend.
Wong

darlin said...

Karen it is rather odd that a bridge would be moved as an attraction, why not a mall or something to really attract people I wonder.

These photos are so crystal clear, the first one is amazing! HDR by chance?

ρομπερτ said...

Thank you for the memories of that song, that I heard decades ago the last time. Impressive photography ! Please have a good Sunday.

Char said...

very nice hdr shots

janc@mac.com said...

I've always wanted to see this. Thanks for saving me the trip with such a spectacular photo.

Avery said...

I like that third shot. Great effect.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

I'm thinking...my hubby and you must be on the same wavelength...he took me here last year...I thought it was neat but didn't get a photo of it!!!
I think we stopped at Wal Mart when we were there...some memory!!!

diane b said...

So I don't need to put this place on my bucket list.