World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal

The 516-metre-long bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva.

Hugo Xavier grew to become one of many first individuals to cross the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge when it opened on Thursday close to his tiny hometown of Arouca in northern Portugal.

“Oh… right here we go!,” the 42-year-old mentioned anxiously as he gathered sufficient braveness to step onto the see-through metallic grid pathway of the 516-metre-long bridge alongside his equally jittery associate and a tour information.

Hidden between rock-strewn mountains lined with lush greenery and yellow flowers contained in the UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark, the bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva.

The panorama is calm, however the crossing shouldn’t be for the faint-hearted. Held up by metal cables and two large towers on all sides, it wobbles just a little with each step.

“I used to be just a little afraid, however it was so value it,” a relieved Xavier mentioned already on the opposite facet. “It was extraordinary, a singular expertise, an adrenaline rush.”

Folks stroll on the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge ‘516 Arouca’, now open for native residents in Arouca, Portugal on April 29, 2021.  
| Picture Credit score: Reuters


The bridge opened solely to native residents on Thursday, however from Monday everybody can guide a go to.

Locals hope the attraction, which price about 2.3 million euros ($2.8 million) and took round two years to construct, will assist revive the area, particularly after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a breath of recent air for our land as a result of it would appeal to extra funding, extra individuals,” mentioned tour information Emanuel,including that the area was quickly ageing as many younger individuals moved to massive cities. “It’s going to convey a brand new dynamic to Arouca.”

Standing on the bridge, the mayor of Arouca, Margarida Belem, mentioned the bridge was a part of a wider technique to encourage extra individuals to maneuver and keep within the area.

“There have been many challenges that we needed to overcome… however we did it,” the visibly proud mayor advised Reuters. “There’s no different bridge like this one on the earth.”

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