November 16, 2011 | Posted in:Background
“127 bridges, on most days,” the saying goes. Here’s a few of the bridges that make that saying true.
1) Floataway Bridge
Formally known as the Fishermonger’s Bridge, Floataway is a pontoon bridge that stretches across the upper portion of the Aris. During especially heavy spring floods, it’s prone to break away from it’s moorings and drift downriver. The effort to return it to its proper place usually results in an impromptu festival, with games, food vendors and crowds of wagering spectators.
2) Little Furzon Bridge
Contructed of rope and wood, Little Furzon hangs suspended from the underside of the Great Furzon Bridge, providing quicker access between the lower levels of the city. As an unauthorized bridge, it is perodically removed by the City Watch, only to reappear again in a few weeks or months.
3) The Stepstones
The northern-most (upstream) bridge on the Aris, the Stepstones is a more elaborate construction than its name implies. The string of stepping stones, each about 2 feet in diameter, float on the surface of the water. The stones are anchored in the riverbed and to each other to ensure stability, but this bridge is only accessible when the river is running low, typically in the late summer and early autumn.
4) Bridge of Boats
Various city fesitvals ofen include a bridge of boats, wherein participants line their boats up across the river and connect them with planks. They’re usually decorated, depending on the theme of the event, and offer refreshements to partiers traveling back and forth across the “bridge.”
5) The Boys’ Bridge
Every three years, boys between 12 and 15 participate in a city-wide bridge building competition with two teams, Guilds versus Houses. The goal is to build, in one day, a temporary bridge across the river (the location changes each year) that must be sturdy enough to support the weight of someone walking across it. The bridges are removed when the event is completed. In the most memorable instance of this competition, the boys of the House team created a bridge with their own bodies, linking arms and legs with one another in the water while someone walked across their backs.
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