I have never been to Derry prior to the construction of the new bridge. But as a first time visitor I cannot imagine it not being there. Not only do the modern shapes of the contemporary structure harmonise with the historical buildings in the background (from some vantage points, the bridge even appears to "hug" the old city center), but its usefulness and influence on local culture were apparent.
People walking and riding their bikes, some in a hurry and others strolling with newspaper in hand while enjoying the view - the city feels alive and my impression is that this liveliness is recent. Walking through the city center early on a Sunday morning, my impression was that the city was waking up in more ways than one.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge on the Antrim coast. In decades past a precarious bridge built for for local fishermen to cross from a tiny rocky island to the mainland, it is now a tourist attraction. For a fee of £5.60 you can cross the bridge, circle the island and come back.
Most visitors get to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in a car. There is a huge car park by the road, next to it a tea house. From there a scenic path leads down to the bridge itself. The path is maybe a 15-20 minute walk, downhill, with beautiful views throughout. I had gone there in late afternoon and the last group of tourists was still about. Walking down the path, one woman said to her husband "My God, why couldn't they make this thing closer to the parking lot? This is ridiculous!"
That is my story of the two bridges.