Hugo Xavier became one of the first people to cross the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, and it opened Thursday (29) near his small hometown: Arauca, North Portugal.
“Ouch … here we go!” Said Xavier, 42, nervously as he mustered the courage to walk the 516-meter-long transparent metallic iron walkway alongside his equally nervous companion and tour guide.
The bridge hidden between rocky mountains and covered in green foliage and yellow flowers lies within the Arouca Geopark, 175 meters above the Paiva River.
The landscape is calm, but the crossing is not for people with weak nerves. Constructed by steel cables and two massive towers on each side, it vibrates slightly with each step.
Relaxed Xavier said on the other end: “I was a little scared, but it was really worth it.” “It was an extraordinary, unique experience, an adrenaline rush.”
The bridge has only opened to locals this Thursday, but starting Monday, anyone can make an appointment to visit.
Residents hope this attraction, which cost about $ 2.8 million and took about two years to build, will help revitalize the area, especially after the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is a breath of fresh air for our land because it will attract more investment and more people,” said guide Emmanuel, adding that the region is rapidly aging as many young people move to the big cities. “It will bring a new dynamic to Aroca.”