Saturday, 16 June 2007

Cui Hao

The yellow crane has long since gone away,
All that here remains is yellow crane tower.
The yellow crane once gone does not return,
White clouds drift slowly for a thousand years.
The river is clear in Hanyang by the trees,
And fragrant grass grows thick on parrot isle.
In this dusk, I don't know where my homeland lies,
The river's mist-covered waters bring me sorrow

Lanterns mark the way up Snake Hill to the tower...

...passing by The Deferral Pavilion where the poet Li Bai is said to have had the urge to climb the hill to write but on reading the work of Cui Hao he found there, laid down his brush and said:
"I dare not write anything more facing this beautiful view, for Cui Hao has written the best poem for you."
After that Cui Hao became famous for his poetry and the pavilion was built by his descendants in honour of Li Bai's modesty.

Li Bai's work has been translated and can be found online like this one in two translations.

Moon over Mountain Pass

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.


The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

Tr. Sam Hamill

Rose of the Moon Tower

In ancient days learned men from all over China would come here to the Anyuan Tower to recite and write poetry. Did they climb the same steps we did on our way up, did they climb the steps millions and millions of people before us climbed?

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The goose pond

I swear I saw this dragon performing in Montreal's Jardin Botanique when I was in Canada last year.

Yellow Crane Tower

Much of the grounds of Snake Hill upon which the Yellow Crane Tower is built is covered with red lanterns that lead the way to the sights and the pavilions, like here at the entrance.

Looking up at the White Cloud Pavilion.

Bright yellow tassles move in the breeze

Next stop....Yellow Crane Tower

Lingering at the temple

These are the last shots I took as we made our way out of the temple grounds.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Luo Han Tang

Hall of Arhats.
This is is the building I came to see when I first read up on Wuhan and saw it marked on the map they gave us at the hotel. And I was quite excited to actually be there. It is quite overwhelming to see the arhats behind their glass display cases. Not one of them is the same, they each have their own individual characteristic poses, faces, expressions and appearance. I could have stopped at each one and taken pics but there are 500 and that's just too many, even for me.

Built in 1850, father and son Wang took 9years to make them. They are all about the same height and weigh the exact same (25 kgs).

Some of these photo's are a bit fuzzy due to light reflecting of the gold leaf and glass windows of the displays and my manky photo skills, I hope nobody minds.

The old and the new

The size of the temple grounds is already a respectable one at more than 10 km2 and more buildings are being added to make it even bigger.

Shuangmian Guanshiyin Pusa

The double-facing Avalokiteśvara stands at nearly 19 meters tall on a 3 meter high foundation facing east and west, symbolic of the sun and moon shining forever and holding a kundika praying for China's development in the 21st century. To me the one of the most revealing moments I had in Wuhan. As a symbol it says all I feel about being in China, this modern China that is facing both east and west, looking back into the past and facing the future.