CONTRIBUTED BY JAMEY HOOPER
If you are looking for a nice day trip from base, I highly suggest you go check out the James Bond Bridge. The real name of the bridge is Varda Viaduct or Varda Köprüsü in Turkish. The Germans built the bridge. Construction began in 1905, and the bridge went into service in 1916.
The James Bond Bridge is featured in the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall, which was released in 2012. My husband and father are both big James Bond fans. There’s no way we could be in Turkey and so close to this bridge without going to check it out in person.
We punched the coordinates into our GPS and off we went. At some points on our drive, we wondered if we would ever come to the bridge because the drive leads you over a one-lane bridge, through the country, through some very small villages, and then on a road that hugs a mountain. All of a sudden, you turn a corner, and the bridge is visible.
After you spot the bridge, you still have to follow the road around a bit and go through two small cave tunnels, which I thought were pretty cool. Once you go through the tunnels you will see a parking lot right by the bridge. You can park your car here and get out to get a closer look at the bridge.
The bridge is just for trains to cross so you can’t drive your car on it. We did see some people walking out onto the bridge. However, I would not suggest this because we saw two trains go by during the time we were there, and they come very fast without warning. Also, the day we were there, there were some ladies selling çay (Turkish tea) right by the bridge. We did not have any because we had brought a picnic lunch with us. There are a few picnic tables to sit and drink çay and take in the view of the bridge. There are no restaurants nearby so I do suggest you bring food or eat before you head out.
After viewing the bridge we headed back the same way that we came. On the way back we saw that there is a canyon with a marked trail right near the one-lane bridge. The canyon is Kapikaya Canyon. We parked on the side of the road and went down the trail alongside the canyon and saw a beautiful little waterfall. The hike was about 1.5 miles one way and it was not difficult. Our 6 year old hiked it with us and it was no problem.
Overall, we had a great day, and I’m sure we will take visitors to see the James Bond Bridge. The bridge was impressive, but it didn’t look exactly like it did in the movie. It was much shorter, and there was no tunnel at the end of the bridge like in the movie. But, I guess that’s Hollywood for ya!
James Bond Bridge:
Address: Kıralan Köyü Yolu, Kıralan/Adana, Turkey
GPS Coordinates: 37.2424444, 34.97647219999999
Kapikaya Canyon Hike:
Address: Karaisalı-Bucak Yolu, Kapıkaya/Adana, Turkey
GPS Coordinates: 37.2339444, 35.0153333