BHC Photo of the Week Nr. 114- Paying Homage to an Old Friend

This week’s Pic of the Week pays homage to an old friend. When I first visited the Lindaunis Schlei Bridge in 2011, I was with the bike. The combination Schaper through truss bridge with a bascule span, which was built in 1927, was in an open position, with boats going underneath the structure. I only was able to get the southern end of the bridge and could not get much of the inside portion of the truss span because of the long line of cars wanting to cross enroute to Flensburg. As this bridge has a combination steel road decking and railroad tracks, one could not afford to lose attention to the road, without losing control of the bike and falling, while risking an accident with a line of cars.  Despite this, I had a chance to get some shots and filmed the structure as the draw span was lowering. You can have a look at the bridge’s history by clicking here.

Fast forward to 2020. There were many reasons for revisiting the bridge, but there were two that stuck out as the key factors in making that decision. The first was after having traveled for 11 hours on the motorway to Flensburg for vacation- seven of which were while in traffic jams, I had decided on taking the backroads home to Saxony- first by stopping in Schwerin for a day trip and then travel to the Dömitz Railroad monument the following day, while passing through Saxony-Anhalt before making it home in a total of nine hours‘ time.  The second was that this bridge is currently being replaced. The German Railways is replacing the structure with one that provides two separate draw bridge spans- one for the railroad line and one for vehicular traffic. At the time of this post, work has already started on the new bridge, which will be built alongside the old structure. That bridge will remain in service for another two years before it is eventually decommissioned and lastly, removed.  We don’t know if parts of it will be kept and used as a monument.

With those two reasons in mind, we decided to take the road last traveled.  From Flensburg, we needed only 40 minutes along the backroads, which were curvy and narrow with few chances to pull off in case of car problems.  After passing through Süderbarup we drove through Lindaunis, which was on the north side of the Schlei, before approaching the bridge.

And as you can see in the pics, it made a lasting difference. After revisiting the docks where I took my last photo in 2011, we had to wait for 20 minutes as the drawbridge span lifted. With me at the wheel, my wife took the opportunity to get some shots, both while stopping but also as we crossed the bridge when the draw span finally came down.  The results were getting the close-ups of the tender’s station and the draw spans, but also getting some tunnel shots of the bridge as we crossed it.

It was a trip worth remembering because we didn’t have to worry about traffic jams and aggressive drivers. It was a relaxing drive nonetheless and one that I cannot regret not taking because it was a road les staken. And if the bridge is to go then not without bidding farewell first.  I just hope that others will do the same, let alone come up with a plan to keep part of the span for it served the Schlei and Schleswig-Holstein well, despite the jams, the traffic lights and its narrowness.  If this was our last good-bye, then it’s one worth remembering.

Note: All but the top photo were taken by my wife Birgit. ❤ 🙂