From Köln : Locks that spoke of Love

I missed posting for ABC Wednesday last week. So here I'm with a post that combines the Hs and Is, two ABC Wednesday prompts in one.

It has been a little over two weeks since I'm in Dusseldorf. I have so much free time that it makes me wonder what to do with it. Though I had hoped to spend most of my time reading and writing, more often than not I end up sleeping or watching re-runs of Friends or The Big Bang Theory!

Anyways, so last Sunday I happened to take a trip to Köln and I saw the Hohenzollern Bridge. So I thought why not let you know a little bit about it eh? It is a rail and pedestrian bridge over the River Rhine. While there are many bridges built on the Rhine there is something really special about this one. Do I hear you asking what? Well it is the bridge that holds countless tales of love and commitment. Since 2008 hundreds and probably thousands of people have placed love padlocks on the bridge's fence between the sidewalk and the tracks.

It is said that couples throw away the keys into the river below after placing the engraved padlocks as a sign of immortalizing their love. The idea is fascinating and one must admit very romantic as well. So I reached there with my husband ,though without a padlock, but I must say it really felt wonderful seeing the fence covered in colored locks, engraved with names and dates. So much history, so many love stories!

It's riveting to think that each lock had its own story to tell. The engraved names, dates and messages stared back at me, teasing me to try and guess their yarn. Pink, Gold, Red, Blue, Yellow and Silver - padlocks of all colors shone under the sun. I just loved reading the names and the dates on those. There was one which was dated 15 July 1966. Now since the tradition of love padlocks on this bridge began in 2008, I wondered about the couple whose story must have began in a 1966 summer. That was such a long time ago yet here was a padlock as an ode to that love.

There was another which had dates 27.05.1961 to 27.05.2011 engraved on it. And if I translated the words engraved on the lock correctly then it was placed on the couples' golden wedding anniversary. Amazing isn't it? Of-course, there were many with dates in the last decade but the ones dated in the 1970s, 1980s or even earlier fascinated me the most. There was so much history in those and I wanted to know about them all. If only there was a way of touching the padlocks and instantly learning about the tales they held!

Also a number of the padlocks on the bridge were dedicated to friendships too. Now that's another aspect that make these love locks unique and special, doesn't it?

I don't know who started it but I think it is a nice tradition and next time I visit the bridge I'll not forget to take my own lock along. Who would have thought that a simple lock could herald the strength of commitment and signify love in it's purest form?

There were so many locks, colors and tales - all in that tied arch bridge that I couldn't help but smile. It wouldn't be wrong if I said that I was truly intrigued by the Hohenzollern Bridge. And that folks make my Hs and Is for the past two weeks. Tell me about yours!


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