Pont de Normandie
Completed in 1995, the Le Pont de Normandie is a cable-stayed bridge that connects Honfleur and Le Havre, France. The main span is 856 meters long and raises almost 58 meters above the water level.
The decision to built a cable-stayed bridge was inspired by the fact that this was the world's longest cable-stayed bridge! The Le Pont de Normandie had beaten the record held by the Skarnsundet bridge and the Quingzhou Minjang bridge built in china in 1996.
However the world's record today is held by the Tartara bridge in Hiroshima, Japan which was completed in 1998.
"The Great Mingling"
"It takes a Village to get married."
Picture this. An American, living in Germany, gets invited by an Irish drinking buddy that he met in London, to his wedding in France. This Irishman is getting hitched to a Vietnamese-French woman that he met in Dublin. It gets better. The wedding family consisted of a brother who is married to an Indian woman that he met in New York, another brother who is engaged to a Spanish woman, and a sister who is married to an Englishman. Attending the wedding were friends from, New Zealand, Vietnam, America, and South Africa. You may have heard the term “Global Village” being used recently as the way of the future. I am here to officially tell you that the future has arrived. So in case you were wondering what the world is coming to, there it is. The best part of all was that everyone was really wonderful and a “interaction” was had by all. The day before the wedding, the civil ceremony was held in downtown Le Havre. This was done in traditional Vietnamese dress. Afterwards, the bride’s family held a wonderful garden party. It was here that the “Great Mingling” began. Now, if you are fortunate enough to have Irish friends, you know that any joyous occasion involving friends, family and drink, will sooner or later, turn into a singsong. This was no exception. There is no better way for people to become familiar, than by joining in song. The next day, the wedding itself was romantic, sentimental, funny, tearful and tri-lingual. It was amazing to see the merging of three cultures in one ceremony. The wedding took place in old church in the harbor city of Le Havre. Following the ceremony, we all headed east to the town of Villequier, the reception was being held in the Chateau de Villequier. Now I have to say that this place was truly special. The Chateau was on a hillside overlooking the Seine River and the town. It was memorable to say the least. The reception itself was in a room surrounded by picture windows. So the view was yours to enjoy all night. If I had to use one word to describe the evening’s festivities, it would have to be “Bubbly”. That was because of the obscene amount of champagne that was consumed by me. The night was filled with dancing, champagne, tearful yet funny speeches, champagne, outrageous flirtations, champagne, rainstorms, champagne, old friends, champagne, new friends, and last but not least, champagne until 5 o’clock in the morning. Sometime during the night, the father of the bride invited everyone to a picnic on the front lawn of the Chateau the next day. So there was what seemed to me like a brief closing of the eyes before we were back again to the “Great Mingling”. At this point we were all mates, so there was mutual giddy-ness had by all. Some friends and I that knew the groom from London had arranged to stay that night in the seaside resort of Honfleur. It was such a great idea, that we managed to convince 17 people to go with us. Ah, but that’s another story......