Monday, 21 February 2011

Charlie's Holiday to Poland (6) - The Love Bridge, Wroclaw

Ah Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year. So much flowers and happiness and unexpected trips to New York or Paris where thousands was spent on wedding proposals, oh, the stuff of magic. Yeah, and that was a week ago. Remember it so clearly now. You can see why I am so cynical about the whole event. A lot can happen in a week. Arguments, beatings, affairs, the whole caboodle. After all, a Valentine is not for life, just for the evening...

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In Poland they do it slightly differently. Yeah, they have the flowers and all that junk, but they are far more likely to buy them spontaneously (as is evident by all the flower shops dotted around their cities). But they also decide to wander over a river...



This is the Ostrow Tumski Bridge in Wroclaw, straddling a loop the Oder river, you can see Wroclaw Cathedral in the background. It was built in 1861, replacing a crossing that dated back to the 11th Century. Now from this angle it may not seem like much, but that is because you are not with your Valentine. You need to wander over to the bridge, which is where the magic begins...



Little padlocks are slung onto any available part of the crossing. Now, it is fairly obvious to the reader why this is so. But of course, I was one of the foolish strollers in this part of Wroclaw. The locals knew what they were doing. No one knows how the tradition started, but this crossing point in Wroclaw is the original love bridge. Other cities may have copied these lovers by tying their padlocks and throwing the key into the river, but it was here where the tradition first began.



Martelka & Karol, 'Chas and Dave', I ♥ MILF - the inscriptions mean many things to many people. The lovers come from, near and far, they hold hands, lock their love onto the bridge and toss away the key into the river below. Many return year after year, creating a chain. Surprisingly, the authorities have decided to allow this to happen. Well, they are Polish, not British. For them, public property is just that...

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