The Impressions of Autumn (28)

Two years ago, I have a series known as The Impressions of Autumn.

I don’t think I have showcased all the photos.

This is a continuation of the series.dscf3377

The picture was taken in in the hills of South Korea during Autumn.

We walked for a couple of hours to reach the temple.

The red tree in the foreground stands out in contrast to the temple in the background.

These colors give us the real feel of Autumn..

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curved ( Bridges)

This week’s DP photo challenge is Curve.

Those who have been following me know that I am a fan of bridges; I  like them as they connect one place to another, overcoming obstacles like river, sea, rivers, gorges etc.

They improve connectivity which we all need.

In the early part of my career, I have been designing and project engineering  some bridges which still stand today, after 40 years of their design and over three decades  of their construction.

This post is about curve bridges; in fact, they are mostly masonry bridges.17-12-2004 5-31-04 PM_0022A

In early part of the human history, we have discovered that if we arrange the masonry or stones in the shape of arches, the resulting structure will be put into compression for which stones have a lot of compressive strength.16-12-2004 4-43-31 PM_0000

The stone or masonry of course will need to be cemented together so that there will be a smooth flow of compression in the arches. Human beings have been very clever in erecting curved spans over torrential waters etc..scan10007

Many of the bridges were built on this principle and quite a lot of them have lasted for hundreds of years.

Here I will first showcase some of the arch bridges built in the West, the first two examples were taken in Spain, namely, Seville and also Toledo.

The third one is a medieval bridge near France in the area known as Cahorrea.CIMG0218

The fourth one was taken in Central Park, NYC.

The fifth one was taken in Switzerland, this is a contemporary structure with vertical memebers transferring loads from the highway onto a concrete arch. DSCF1124

The rest of the bridges are built in the East.DSCF0286

The one with three curved spans over a river, looking like three contagious ribbons were taken in Shinkoku, Japan.DSCF6492

This is followed by a three span masonry bridge in the West Lake China, creating an attractive reflection in the West Lake waters.

The last one with the red Autumn foliage was captured in South Korea.DSCF3377

I could go on and on, citing more examples – if I can get hold of my old pictures.

For the time being, please enjoy 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle (Bridge)

This week’s photo challenge is Circle.

The circular form is a common architectural expression in the bridge design of China.DSC_0027

Many of the masonry bridges have circular openings. Structurally, they rely on the arching action in the masonry.DSC_0028

The first two photos were taken in FengHuang city ( or the Phoenix City ) of China.This bridge has three circular openings. The second picture shows a single opening in more detail.

The photo of the last bridge was taken in West Lake, HangZhou of China.DSCF6494A

It is a graceful looking arch bridge, again with three spans.

When viewed with the reflection, complete circles are formed.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry ( Bridge at West Lake, China)

Here is a photo with two axes of Symmetry.

The photo was taken in West Lake, China.DSCF6494

The picture is symmetrical about the water line which divides the reflection from the features on land.

The other axis of symmetry is in the middle span of the triple arch bridge.

The bridge is aesthetically pleasing !

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (2)

Our days in West Lake, China were spent strolling around the lake, admiring at the beauty of the scenery and looking at reflections in the calm lake waters which brought so much peace to our hearts.DSCF6501

It was November, the sky was grey and this imparted a blue hue in the water. The reflections of the trees in water instilled a range of moods which sometime seemed even poetic.DSCF6488

The love of bridges took us to this part of the lake. The arch bridge looked balanced and aesthetically pleasing. It looked so calm sitting on the water, casting a perfect image.DSCF6352

There were many willows along the banks of the lake. The reflections from the lake seemed to show even the smallest leaves.DSCF6424

At this time of the year, there was basically an absence of bright colors, the bright colors on this tree gave a strong contrast to the otherwise dull background . . . . . . . . . .  . .  .

The Last Days of Autumn in West Lake, China

West Lake is a famous fresh water lake located in the historic and scenic area of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. Described by Marco Polo as “the finest and most beautiful city in the world, we were keen to witness  the picturesque lake within this finest city. The lake is divided by the causeways of Baidi in the north and Sudi in the west. By the side of the lake, there are numerous temples, pagodas, classical pavilions, landscaped gardens and within the lakes are artificial islands.

It was no longer the season for lotus; the flowers have all withered, leaving the stalks and some leaves. At the background were trees with leaves already turning brown. 

With arched bridges stretching over the water, West Lake is the heart of leisure in Hangzhou. On this rainy day, we strolled over the famous arch bridge which crosses the lake and started walking all four sides of the idyllic lake.

We strolled by the lake side, walked over many stone trestles built over the water and passed by  pavilion after pavilion.

When we were tired from the walk, we took a boat to one of the islands where we have a leisurely stroll around it looking at more pavilions.

Entering into an ancient building, we found it a joy to view through the screen windows of the building. Not only the sight through the window was interesting, we noted the screen itself including the wooden frame around it were artistically carved.

Inside one of the  ancient buildings, we have a good look at the typical furniture of a Chinese study room.

HangZhou, where West Lake is situated, has been among the most important sources
of inspiration for Chinese garden designers, as evidenced by the impact it had on various Chinese classical gardens. We walked past the circular entrance which is so typical of entrances to Chinese gardens.

We found ourselves in the middle of a Chinese garden with”strange rocks” and water flowing as a water feature.

On our previous trips, we have not covered the less famous western edge of the lake which is known as Yangdi. Our walk on the western edge brought us to unknown beauty such as the stone arch bridge below.

Walking further along the western edge, we came across tranquil areas of the lake with perfect reflections in the serene waters.

After hours of walking, we finally reached the northern shore of the lake where many ancient but elegant and graceful buildings are located.

By this time, we were so hungry that we decided that we should try out the Hangzhou cuisine in this local restaurant.

This is the first time we have walked all four sides of the lake, however, we know that this will not be our last trip to West lake and HangZhou. In our mind, we know we will be coming back in another season, another time . . . . . . . . .

PS For related post “Watching Kois in West Lake (Xihu) Hanzhou, China”, please see