Crossing Antwerp's Pontoon Bridge, 2014

Crossing the pontoon bridge in Antwerp was so much more fun than I had imagined. I met a remarkable older gentleman and his wife as we queued.  Together we laughed and chatted our way across that pontoon bridge.

On the other side we hunted down Choice New Zealand pies, discovered the Cava stand, and spent a good hour speaking to strangers at Hilde's pie stand, about New Zealand and pies of course. One man, who so very much wanted to live in NZ, proposed marriage to me. He offered my Belgian bloke his wife in exchange. There was much laughter.  Benny was there with his fries in the Retro - Food bus too.

It was a truly delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Below is a view from the Left Bank back to Antwerp city ... with the story too.

A highlight of this commemorative programme is the contemporary reconstruction of the 1914 pontoon bridge, symbolising the connection between the past, present and future. The temporary pontoon bridge across the River Scheldt near Steen Fortress will be built by Belgian and Dutch engineer battalions on October 3rd, 2014.

The construction of a contemporary “Peace Bridge” is a technical feat. Above all the bridge will be a unique experience for the many tens of thousands of visitors who will be able to cross the River Scheldt on foot, following in the footsteps of the Belgian army as well as of the more than 10,000 refugees who fled a burning city in search of a safe haven. The reconstruction is a reminder of a significant historical moment in the city’s history as well as an invitation to build bridges in the present and work together to create a connected, inclusive city.