It’s a rainy day in the campo and it’s very quiet and tranquilo now.
The fishing tournament is on in the burg this weekend. A couple of our friends are participating and we were hoping to congregate on the beach this afternoon and partake in some of the activities even if is only vicariously. Hopefully by this afternoon the skies will clear.
In the meantime we are both lazing around reading and enjoying the light breeze and the cool air. In my case I have read my digital edition of the Saturday Edmonton Journal. I’ve been reading for a few weeks now that an iconic landmark the High Level Bridge is celebrating its 100th birthday. Why am I commenting about a bridge you may ask? Here’s why.
We moved to Edmonton in 1995. I was born in Edmonton but my parents moved to Calgary when I was still a toddler. I spent most of my life in Calgary until Spousal Unit was posted to Ontario. Even then we came back to Calgary and then were posted to Ontario again. It was our intention to go back to Calgary when our second stint in Ontario was finished but the Government of Canada had other ideas and posted us to Edmonton.
My first impressions of Edmonton, city of my birth, was that it was the dirtiest, ugliest, most industrialized city I’d ever been in. Calgary had the mountains in the distance and we lived not far from the outskirts of the city. All Edmonton seemed to have was grime, grime and more grime and lots of streets that went nowhere. That’s what I thought until I discovered the River Valley. The valley is the jewel of Edmonton, full of beautiful green spaces and parks. And across the valley runs several bridges. Out of all these bridges the High Level Bridge is one of my favorites.
To drive across the High Level is an exercise is civility and caution. One must not race across it like an Indy driver or attempt to cut others off. The two lanes are narrow and when you emerge at the other end into daylight it’s almost like a sigh.
To be a runner, a cycler or a walker across the bridge is to experience its true beauty. To run the bridge on a clear summer evening at sunset is even more spectacular. The gentle slope from the south side of the bridge across the flatness and up another gentle slope to the Legislature Grounds is one of my favorite runs. I would drive all the way from my home on the North side for that run.
Yes, the High Level Bridge is a grand old gal. One of the few architectural gems in Edmonton. And one of the prettiest spots in my home town.
If you’d like to read the great article published today about the bridge and see some pictures of it you’ll find it online here.
To learn more about the streetcars that run during the summer you’ll find information here.
You can see more photos of the bridge, past and present here.