Tag Archives: China

Skylines

Once I started going through old photos for skylines I found I couldn’t stop. To keep the post a moderate length I put them into a slide show. These are all from China, but taken over several years and representing a variety of cities.

  • Waterfront in Qingdao.
  • Kites flying on the waterfront in Qingdao.
  • Another view of Qingdao, this time looking down.
  • Chongqing through the mist.
  • Boats and bridges as well as buildings define the skyline of Chongqing.
  • The Bund in Shanghai, viewed from a boat on the Huangpu River.
  • Looking the other way: a view of the ultra modern Pudong skyline in Shanghai from a boat on the Huangpu River.
  • The pagoda of White Emperor City on the Yangtze River with the Wu mountains of the Qu Gorge (western most of the Three Gorges) behind it.
  • Old and new on a peaceful morning looking out at the new city of Fengdu (relocated because of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam) from the ancient Fengdu Ghost City temple complex.
  • A view of Xi'an from the top of the Great Goose Pavilion.
  • The Forbidden City in central Beijing, photo taken from the Jingshan (coal hill) park.
  • The Great Wall of China snakes along the skyline for many miles, this view is of the Mutianyu section, north of Beijing.
  • Construction cranes at the Beijing Capital Airport and the mountains beyond it at sunset.
  • A fairytale view on a smoggy morning in Weifang, Shandong Province, China.
  • Sunrise in Penglai, Shandong Province.

For Travel with Intent’s One Word Sunday: skyline.

Random reflections

A gallery of reflections from a trip to Guilin China in May of 2019. Beautiful area, May is rainy season, so there were plenty of reflections, even on the walkways. It is on my list to go back at a different time of year. Alas.

A more philosophical reflection

Answer versus solution

I remember a conversation with my father-in-law where he, a PhD mechanical engineer, expounded on the difference between a solution and an answer. I believe the conversation came up with regard to some, rather esoteric, topic related to computers and their ability to solve problems, numerical integration maybe? it was an awfully long time ago. His point, which was totally correct, was that the computer can give you an answer, but not a solution.

Continue reading Random reflections

The start of the trek to the top

The grand entrance to the path to the top of Taishan, the one in Tai'an.
I wished the day had been clearer.
A carved granite mural in an underpass in Tai'an.
A mural that uses a perspective technique to represent the above avenue.

Tai’an is at the base of the sacred mountain Taishan, where the emperors would go to the Dai Miao temple at the base of the mountain then to the top to perform certain rites. I was really impressed that they went up until I learned that they were carried up on a litter. I am very impressed by the guys who carried the emperor up. There are some super steep areas. My son was quite relieved that I chose to take the cable car (after I learned that the emperors didn’t do it!). He admitted later that he was trying to figure out how to carry both our backpacks and prevent me from falling.

For Becky of WInchester’s July Squares: Perspective.

There’s something about a bridge…

Cable stay suspension bridge in the foreground, a steel girder bridge a bit up river and the city of Chonqing appears to go on forever.
Bridges over the Yangtze River in Chongqing at dusk.

There is not a vanishing point in the above photo, but the buildings appear smaller farther away. That’s probably accurate: Chonqing is huge and the urban area extends as far as you can see.

The next one,taken a couple of years earlier, is downstream from Chongqing city. The water is brown because of flooding, when the river runs normally it is green.

A cable stay suspension bridge downstream from Chongqing city (though still in the Chongqing municipality). The river is full but appears placid.
From this angle the bridge seems to emerge from the hillside

I have always loved the elegance of cable stay suspension bridges. When I was in college, a very, very long time ago I was part of a team that built a model cable stay bridge that won a contest (a nerdy kind of contest where you were judged on things like displacement and strength over weight, as opposed to total weight, although there was a minimum load it had to bear.) These bridges along the Yangtze reminded me of that.

For Becky of Winchester’s July Squares: Perspective.

No pain, no view

View

View from the Jade Emperor Pavilion on top of Yishan in Linqu country of Weifang.
View from the top.

Pain

Of course you had a climb up to get to the view.

Looking up at the temple from the shuttle drop off point.

Yishan is an interesting place. It is not as famous or tall as Taishan, but it was important in the traditional worship and the emperors did come here for some rites. It is known as “little Taishan”. Fortunately the climb was not as intimidating either.

We were really fortunate because we caught a re-enactment of one of the imperial rites at Dongzhen at the base of the mountain when we came back down.

It was interesting to see how the things we see were used.

For Becky of WInchester’s July squares: Perspective.

The ultimate jigsaw puzzle

To grasp of the magnitude of the terracotta warriors in Xian you have to look at both the overall installation (the picture below is one of at least three areas).

and close up. There are many different figures with different hair styles, facial features and positions…and they were all painted. The number of craftsmen who worked on it must have rivaled the size of an army!

Putting it all together in the first place was an amazing feat. Rebuilding it is even more of one.

Crafts people are still working on it now, rebuilding the figures for future generations to appreciate. It has to be the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.

For Becky of Winchester’s July Squares: Perspective.

Looking up, looking down

Looking up at the top of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, China.
Looking down from the top window

Notice how different the size of the incense burner appears in the two photos?

This is the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian, China. Although the Wiki says that the Chinese name actually means “big swan goose”. From the top you get views that make you realize how very large the city of Xian is.

I visited in 2014 with my dad. So glad we had a private guide: he was tired and I was able to park him with the guide and climb to the top. So glad I got to see the city from that perspective.

Another perspective: Sometimes traveling with an older parent can be similar to traveling with a child. They both get tired and fussy in the late afternoon! Ice cream is often a good solution for that.

For Becky of Winchester’s July Squares: Perspective.

Sky is in its name-Tianamen Square

Tianamen in Beijing.

I was amazed at the size of Tianamen square. The people look small and the lines of lamp posts and fountains marching off to the large buildings that look small in the distance. Appropriately (since “tian” means sky) the sky also helps to give perspective, the one thing big enough to stand up to its magnitude.

For Becky of WInchester’s July Squares: Perspective.