On our drive to Granada today we crossed over an unusual bridge so we decided to have a picnic near it with the bread and dried chorizo that was kindly given to us by staff from the El Curro hotel in Burunchel.
We had driven this way because of suggestions made by Maria del Mar, an extraordinarily nice woman who worked in the El Curro. It’s always great to make connections with locals and find the paths less travelled (by tourists like ourselves).
Sometimes travelling can feel a bit like being a slot-car that just follows a well worn rut. So sitting out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere in Spain, eating some delicious sausage looking at an incredible landscape with my wife the engineer seemed to be close to perfect.
To paraphrase my old friend Omar Khayyam
Here with a loaf of bread some chorizo,
a bottle of water, a bridge and thou
Beside me chatting in the wilderness
and wilderness is paradise now.
As we ate, we discussed the bridge and its design while bearded vultures soared far above us on the thermals over the surrounding hills.
I’ve learnt so much about concrete and how it’s used since I’ve known Engogirl. The bridge we were looking at was quite unusual in that its vertical members looked very slender with only thin horizontal members with no diagonal bracing to stop them warping. Concrete is very strong in compression but relatively weak in tension so the vertical members have to stay straight or it’s “all over red rover”. The bridge was a manifestation of “less is more” in concrete.
Its not that Engogirl thought it was a bad design, it was just different and showed a desire to make a bridge that was more than just functional. Although the construction of the bridge looked quite rough because it had been made with formwork on site, suggesting that it was just a fairly cheap bridge of no real importance, it had lots of character. In fact it was quite beautiful in its own way.