I must not, however, omit observing their method of building bridges over their broadest and deepest rivers, several of which we passed in our Excursion to the northern parts of this kingdom. They are undoubtedly tremendous to the stranger, who might imagine with some kind of dread that instead of measuring the breadth of the waters he is about to cross, he would first be obliged to fathom the depth.
They have no quay or wall on either side of the river on which to form a basis for such a building, it is therefore curiously and well constructed in this manner. The thickest end of a thick piece of timber, the length and shape of the mast of a large ship, is fastened to the rock or mountain, the other end extended on the water; a second timber of the same length is placed upon it, extending a fathom beyond it, and so a third, and fourth, to the middle of the stream, where it meets with another series of timber-masts from the opposite side, and this without any cement, but merely resting upon each other; so that in passing this, as it were, floating bridge, the elasticity is sometimes so great that about the middle it appears to swing and the weight of either horse or carriage dips it under the surface of the water; a circustance so tremendous and apparently dangerous that a person unaccustomed to such bridges may well imagine that it will rise no more.
I have frequently seen travellers stop and water their horses on the middle of the bridge when they already touch the water from the subsiding of the platform. When freed from the weight of the carriage or passenger it immediately rises to its proper height.