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Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Bridge to Nowhere

There is a very worthwhile drive that you can do to Bubiyan Island (follow "Subiya" signs from Jahra). Bubiyan is a barren uninhabited island up by the border, the ownership of which has long been disputed with Iraq and Iran. To reinforce their claim, Kuwait built a large bridge to link it to the mainland. You drive over this bridge, do a u-turn and drive back across it. It is known locally as the "bridge to nowhere". There is still a fair bit of war damage visible with the ruins of the police post and a few destroyed trucks and artillery pieces. The Iraqis had blown out the centre span during the occupation and the bridge reopened a year or so ago after rebuilding.

It is about 50kms from Jahra and it is a pleasant drive along the road that follows the line of the Mutla Ridge and eventually climbs over it near Bubiyan. The landscape is less spoilt than the rest of Kuwait and there are nice views of the Multa Ridge on one side and Kuwait Bay on the other. You will usually see a hundred or so camels grazing at the side of the road. About half way along, you will find that the road is fenced on both sides and you will reach a grandiose gate on either side with large signs saying "Kuwait National Park". The guards will, of course, not let you through the gate and there appears to be absolutely nothing to see anyway. Being photographed under the sign in the middle of nowhere is one of Kuwait's peak tourist experiences!

John & Rosemary Hillard, Australia (Dec 01)