Goodbye West Lake, China

We have been in West Lake for several days. This was our last day in West Lake, HangZhou. Woke up early in the morning and decided that we would start off the day with visiting the LeiFeng Pagoda to have a panoramic view of West Lake.

LeiFeng Pagoda is a five-story tall tower with eight sides, located on Sunset Hill south of West Lake in Hangzhou. Originally constructed in the year AD 975, it collapsed in 1924 but was rebuilt in 2002, since then it has been a popular tourist attraction.

As we walked towards the southern side of the lake, we passed by this pavilion located at the edge of the lake.

Strolling further leisurely along the banks, we note tourists are enjoying their boat rides.

We stumbled into a tea house and sipped tea before moving further.

On reaching of the LeiFeng Pagoda, we climbed up to the very top. It was hazy, we could just managed to see part of the lake against a misty sky.

There is a story to the pagoda. The story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human
form. The story is vividly depicted in the form of a series of wood carving within the pagoda. One of wood carvings show the white snake as a beautiful flying lady.

We strolled further along the banks which are commonly lined with willows. The walk was just refreshing.

Getting somewhat tired after hours of walking, we took a seat on this inviting bench by the side of the lake.

Strolling further along, we reached this location which is a famous place for viewing the moon at night.

It rained heavily when we reached the entrance of our next stop – the Yue Fei Temple.

The Yue Fei Temple  is a temple built in honor of Yue Fei, a general of the Southern Song dynasty when the capital of China was in Hangzhou. The temple was first constructed in the during the Song Dynasty in 1221 to commemorate Yue Fei. The site includes Yue Fei’s Temple, Loyalty Temple and Yue Fei’s Mausoleum inside. The temple was reconstructed several times in later date. The tombs and the tomb sculptures in the temple all dates from the 12th century, and have been meticulously restored.

Inside the temple were many statues, the one below of Yue Fei depicted vividly his valance.

The architecture within the temple too was awesome. There were words praising his loyalty on the beams and columns.

By the time we got out of the temple, it was already dark.

When night fell, we stayed by the lake, watching the reflection of lights off the lake surface.

We knew we would be departing but we also knew someday we would be coming back.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (4)

The Water Cube (Beijing National Aquatics Center) is located in the Olympic Green, the focal point for the Beijing Games.  The cuboid shape of the Water Cube is a reflection of the Chinese symbol for Earth, while the adjacent elliptic form of the Birds Nest (see Photo Challenge (3)), represents Heaven.
The outer wall of the Water Cube was inspired by the natural formation of soap bubbles ( using the light, translucent but strong ETFE as the facade material). It is based on the Weaire-Phelan structure, a structure devised from the natural pattern of bubbles in soap lather. It was realised that a structure based on this unique geometry would be highly repetitive and buildable while appearing organic and random. The result is a very simple regular building form, with very complex geometry in the façade which offers stunning aesthetics effect.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (3)

The facade of the “Birds Nest” stadium in Beijing has a highly complex geometry. The form of the stadium is popularly described as a “bird’s nest”, with its pattern inspired by Chinese-style “crazed pottery”.  Seemingly random, the pattern abides by complex rules for which advanced geometry was defined. The roof is saddle-shaped, and the geometry is developed from a base ellipse of which the major and minor axes are 313 meters and 266 meters respectively. The interior bowl which seats 91,000 people is yet another system of great interest. The color of the light changes with time. This indeed is one of the best application of geometry to the modern architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (2)

There are many cisterns in Istanbul but this is the biggest ever found.  Yerebatan Sarayi, or Sunken Palace, the cathedral-sized Cistern runs beneath the entire street and some buildings. This is an underground chamber of 138 x 64.6 metres. The large space is formed by supporting a ceiling vault and arch system  by a forest of 336 marble columns. The ceiling vaults, known as Manastır Tonozu (cloister vault), are built without using a mould. From whatever angle you view, the perspective view of the columns and ceiling arches give you a very strong geometrical feel . . . . . . . . . . . .  .. . . . .