I made it through the third and final day working on-site – I fly home in the morning.

I’m sitting in my hotel room with the window wide open, listening to the world go by outside – quite a noisy world, it turns out, given the railway station is only a few minutes walk away. I can hear Turkish music coming from a cafe nearby, and the occasional laughter of German girls as they head out for the evening.

After dinner this evening I went for a walk along the river, and over a distant bridge I have often passed, but not walked over. I was surprised to discover the bridge is festooned with padlocks, signed or engraved by those that have left them. While walking across, and feeling the bridge moving underfoot, I wondered how much the many thousands of padlocks weigh, and how much the bridge was designed to withstand. My pace may have quickened a little for the next few moments.

The padlocks have stuck in my mind for the rest of the evening though – wondering if the people who left them are still together – the story behind them leaving the padlock – and what they might be doing now.

I wonder who first thought of attaching a padlock to a public structure, with their names inscribed upon it? I wonder how long ago the trend started? I know several bridges around the world have been cleared of their padlocks in recent years to prevent their collapse, but I wonder which bridge was first ?

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