I participated in a conference on graph grammars in Williamsburg. It was very pleasant stay in the hotel near the conference centre, only several steps from the historical Williamsburg. This is unlike to any museums I've seen, it is a living city where time has been moved far back. You may feel like a time traveller. I also visited a concert of a country group in the hotel, it was an unforgettable memory for me, as I like the country music very much.
The real heart of the city's waterfront is Waterside. This complex of shops, restaurants, bars, and small kiosks is the place to go for meals and entertainment in Norfolk. Enjoy a seafood dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, or the nightlife at Jillian's. Or just hang out.
"Types of Bridges"
The fixed bridge is the kind of bridge everyone thinks of when you say "bridge". It doesn't move.
But there are four kinds of opening bridges on the ICW, and three of them are represented in Norfolk. There is only one pontoon bridge between Norfolk and Miami, and that is in Sunset Beach. But the other three bridges are well represented. Other than a pontoon bridge, there are three main kinds of bridges that open - Bascule, Swing and Lift. The picture is of a single bascule bridge. (They also come as double leaf bridges which open in the middle.
Norfolk is unusually well supplied with lift bridges. The whole bed of the bridge is lifted up level instead of pivoting up like the bascule bridges do. It is more usual to have railroad bridges that are lift bridges, and they stay open all the time except when a train comes, but Norfolk has the Jordan Lift Bridge which is a highway bridge. Picture shows it down, with the nearby railroad bridge in the up position.
"Lifting the Jordan Lift Bridge."
The bridge tender stays in a little house in the middle of the bridge. He has a good perspective from up there.
"Is it high enough?"
He just lifts the bridge enough to clear the tallest sailboat mast. This sometimes freaks people out, as from our perspective it looks as if the mast will hit the bridge for sure
"Jordan Lift Bridge partway Up"
Boats going under the Jordan Lift Bridge with the bridge only partway up
The Gilmerton bridges complicate things by being a railroad bridge right next to a highway bridge. You can see the opened Gilmerton bascule bridge, with the railroad bridge (also a bascule bridge with iron latticework sides) right behind it. Picture is from the highway bridge side.
"Gilmerton Railroad Bridge"
When a train comes, the Gilmerton highway bridge can't go up either. Picture is looking north from the railroad bridge side.
Most of the Swing Bridges are on the Virginia Cut south of Norfolk. The Great Bridge Bridge, and Centerville Turnpike Bridge are both swing bridges. A swing bridge pivots on a central point instead of lifting.