您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 旅游 >> 正文

百慕大之最——两秒钟就能跨过的吊桥

更新时间:2018-5-10 20:58:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The drawbridge you can cross in two seconds
百慕大之最——两秒钟就能跨过的吊桥

It takes an average of two seconds to cross Bermuda’s Somerset Bridge by car – sneeze and you might miss it.

坐车通过百慕大的萨默塞特桥(Somerset Bridge)平均耗时2秒,打个喷嚏,你可能就错过了。

With an opening just 56cm wide, the world's smallest drawbridge is large enough to accommodate the mast of a sailboat. Yet the bridge, which links the southern tip of Somerset Island to Sandys Parish on the south-western shore of the main island, once saved Bermuda’s residents up to three hours in travel time.

萨默塞特桥是世界上最小的吊桥,仅56厘米宽,只够一艘帆船穿过。不过,这座桥将萨默塞特岛主岛的南端和西南岸的桑兹区(Sandys Parish)连了起来,曾经为百慕大居民的出行节省三个小时的时间。

“For small Bermuda sloops, the shortest route to the open sea from the central and western parishes of Bermuda was via Somerset Bridge, rather than taking the long channel around the north and east coast of Bermuda,” said Dr Edward Harris, former director of the National Museum of Bermuda.

百慕大国家博物馆的前馆长哈里斯博士(Dr Edward Harris)说:"乘搭百慕大的小单桅帆船从百慕大的中西部地区到外海,从萨默塞特桥航行是最短的路线,不用绕过百慕大北部和东海岸的漫长水道。"

Today, 10 bridges connect eight islands and Bermuda’s mainland, but four centuries ago, the only way to get from one island to another was by boat. In 1620, The Bermuda General Assembly decided to construct the first three bridges, including Somerset Bridge, to allow residents to gather more easily. At that time, most people living in Bermuda relied on boats for fishing and general transport, but strong south-west winds made navigating Bermuda’s waters challenging. In the early 17th Century, a type of ship known as a sloop – equipped with high, raked masts and triangular sails – was developed to help islanders sail upwind. The sloop’s innovative design eventually evolved into the Bermuda rig, which was used by the British Navy in the 19th Century and for the America’s Cup in the 1930s. It remains a popular sailing vessel to this day.

今天,这里有10座桥将8座岛屿与百慕大主岛连起来,但在4个世纪以前,从一座岛到另一座岛的唯一办法就是坐船。1620年,百慕大大会(Bermuda General Assembly)决定建造首批三座桥梁以方便居民往来,其中就包括萨默塞特桥。当时,船对于生活在百慕大的大多数人来说,是用来捕鱼和一般出行的工具,但猛烈的西南风使百慕大水域很难航行。在17世纪初,有人发明了一种装备了高高的倾斜桅杆和三角帆的船,帮助岛民逆风而行。这种船的创新设计最终演变成了百慕大帆,19世纪的英国海军和1930年代的美洲杯帆船赛使用的都是这种帆。直至今日,仍然广受欢迎。

With towering palm trees and verdant ferns flanking its moss-covered stone walls, Somerset Bridge looks much as it did nearly 400 years ago, save for the four small yellow chains installed to prevent passers-by from falling into the water below. While it is called a drawbridge, Somerset Bridge did not open and close in the traditional way. Having the ability to raise and lower the two sides of the bridge would have required a more complex design, and the waterway was not wide enough for anything larger than a sloop to pass. Instead, builders left a 56cm gap across the centre of the bridge covered by a loose plank of wood.

除了为防止行人落水而装上的四根小黄链,萨默塞特桥看起来还是400年前的样子,棕榈树和翠绿的蕨类植物高耸在覆盖着青苔的石墙两侧。虽然这座桥被称为吊桥,但并不是以传统方式开合。桥的两边若是可以升降的话,需要一个更为复杂的设计,而这里的水道不够宽,仅够一艘单桅帆船通过。于是,建桥者在桥中间留了一个56厘米的空隙,用一块活木板盖在上面。

As sloops approached the bridge, an overseer would raise the wooden plank from the bridge floor to allow the sail to pass through. The overseer would then assist the captain in navigating the sail through the narrow breach, and replace the plank once the sloop was safely past.

当帆船靠近这座桥时,守桥人就把木板从桥面拿起,方便过船。然后,守桥人会协助船长驾驶帆船穿过狭窄的缺口,待船安全过去后,再把木板盖上。

Sailing remained the primary form of transportation in Bermuda until the mid-20th Century. But as automobile traffic grew and boat traffic waned, the Bermuda government decided to retire the drawbridge. “The bridge is operational, but it doesn't open because it's an important part of the main road that links the largest and most eastern parish – Sandys Parish to Southampton,” explained Larry Rogers, owner of Rogers Transfers & Island Tours.

20世纪中叶以前,百慕大的主要交通工具都是帆船。但随着汽车流量增加,而船运流量减少,百慕大政府决定让这座吊桥退休。"这座桥还是可以使用,但之所以不开放,是因为它是连接英格兰最大的区域和最东边区域,即桑兹区与南安普敦的主干道的重要组成部分,"罗杰斯岛旅行社(Rogers Transfers & Island Tours)的老板罗杰斯解释。

But the bridge remains treasured by residents and visitors alike. As one of Bermuda’s top tourist attractions, it was featured on a 2009 series of Bermudian banknotes, and in 2015, was officially designated a historical monument.

但这座桥仍然受到居民和游客的喜爱。作为百慕大最热门的旅游景点之一,萨默塞特桥被印在了百慕大2009年版钞票上,2015年被正式指定为历史遗迹。

Despite its small size, Somerset Bridge does require some upkeep. “I just finished completing the woodwork on the bridge’s two walkways: the north and south entrances,” said Curtis Charles, a construction and maintenance engineer for the Bermuda Ministry of Public Works, who has been working on the bridge for more than 25 years. “The previous wood was 16 years old, and we needed to replace it as moisture got in between the planks and rotted. This time we made sure to treat the wood, so it will last longer, hopefully around 20 years.”

尽管萨默塞特桥很小,但保养工作也不能少。"我刚刚完成了这座桥两个人行道的木工活:位于南北的两个入口处,"百慕大公共工程部建筑和维护工程师查尔斯(Curtis Charles)说,他在这座桥上工作了25年。"以前的木材已经用了16年,木板之间受潮腐烂,都需要更换。这次我们一定要把木材处理好,确保更耐用,希望能用上20年左右。"

Charles and his team inspect the bridge once a month; they change the pads underneath the portion of the bridge that cars pass over, and check the wooden planks in the walkway and asphalt. He believes that Somerset Bridge is worth protecting.

查尔斯和他的团队每月给桥做一次检查;更换有汽车碾过的桥段下面的垫子,并检查人行道木板和沥青。他认为萨默塞特桥值得精心保护。

“It’s a point of pride,” he said.

"这正是萨默塞特桥令人自豪的关键所在,"他说。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表