Sunday, March 26, 2006

a silent army

a silent army
Originally uploaded by idogu.
This is not my image.

I had been staying in Xian for a few days. I had met up with these two Swedish girls and an American guy who lived in Tai Pei.

We hired a taxi for the day and traveled up to the terracotta warriors. Out the front was the usual dodgem track of merchandising stalls, but inside was the surprises.

First of all, there was the sheer immensity of the army. And then there was the sheer amount of work they still have to do to uncover it. They have done less than 10%.

Secondly was the immense smell of terracotta clay. I have never been in a place which smelled so much of clay and I have lived in a house with a potter who made a living from pottery.

Finally, there were signs everywhere saying no photography. The crowd around the pit was about 5 people deep in most parts. Standing behind them was a soldier, perhaps every 10 to 20 feet. When you looked across the room at the people on the other side, you saw the continuous flash-flash of cameras being used. No one seemed to mind.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The rail line

AUS, VIC, Boggy Creek Bridge 1
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.

The railway line was constructed into the Mountains from Albury to Corryong in around 1915 and this is one of the original bridges. In 1949 my grandfather, Percy Marks, moved to the property "Lightwood" on the Murray River near Jingellic. This was a soldier settler farm. He used to make the journey into the snowy mountains to the highest railway station in Victoria, at Shelley. This bridge is near Shelley on the same rail line. It was closed as part of cost cutting measures in the second half of the 20th century.

On this day, I was traveling back from Melbourne to Sydney after visiting the family over the new-year break. I detoured along this road as it is a pleasant journey.

AUS, VIC, Boggy Creek Bridge 7 AUS, VIC, Boggy Creek Bridge 2 AUS, VIC, Boggy Creek Bridge 14 AUS, VIC, Boggy Creek Bridge 1

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Geikie George - 2005/07/22

Geikie George is on the Fitzroy River, just north of Fitzroy crossing. The night before I had stayed in the Crossing Inn, in Fitzroy Crossing. In the morning I traveled up to the George and booked in on a hour long tour of the river. Later I walked up to the start of the Gorge before it the heat of the day kicked in. The gorge has a sand bar which creates a lake. Further down stream, past the sand bar, you can cross the river where it is only about 2 meters wide and 2 cm deep. Later in the afternoon I arrived in Kunnunurra.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

ARL Grand final sept 2001

ARL Grand final sept 2001 c
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Not having lived in Australia until I was 5 1/2 I was a late comer to the Australian sports. I think I lived in Melbourne for a year and a half before I discovered the AFL. The rugby leagues just happened somewhere else. Only when I lived in Adelaide, did I start traveling regularly to Sydney. It was then that I watch a lot of the ARL, I even watched the grand final on the TV in Adelaide. But I still had never been to a match. The only match I have ever been to was this match in 2001. The grand final. I have not really had much to do with the sport since I left Adelaide. I have never selected a team to support. It is an interesting question. Can you follow sport when you do not support a team? Is there a point? I am not sure. Perhaps the games have to be better. In the end, when it comes to live viewing, I greatly prefer the AFL.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Glamis Palace

Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
I ended up here a little by chance. I had been heading down the coast to visit some castles. Having visited the castles, I was not enjoying the coastline. I stopped at a tourist information center. The woman there suggested that I visit Glamis Palace. The place is magnificent.

The thistle always surprises me. When we first moved to West Sunshine, our house was one of the first in the new estate. All the unused lots were covered with these thistles. Our Yugoslavian neighbors would eat the flowers.

Click on the image on the right to see the slide show, or the thumbnails below to view the individual images.

Glamis Castle Upside down hedge Under the upside down hedge The tower of Glamis Castle Thistle Hairy coos... Dangerous Hariy Coos

Saturday, March 11, 2006

View from Moon Rock

View from Moon Rock
Originally uploaded by mgjefferies.
After we arrived in KunMing on the train from ErMeiShan, Barbara and Arthur went down to the train station to book out train trip to Gui Lin. But when they reached the station, there was a queue around the block and they said there were perhaps 8,000 people lined up to buy train tickets. It turns out that it was the first day of the university holidays and also it was impossible to book for the next leg of the journey. So we had to fly with Yunan Airlines to Gui Lin. Traveling by air was at least five times the price of a sleeper on the train.

We arrived at KunMing airport and to my despair had a brand new Boeing 737. I had quite been looking forward to my first flight in a Soviet era aircraft. We took off an all was well. About 45 minutes into the flight, we did a U turn. Most unexpected. And shortly later landed at GuiYang. They advised that due to fog, we were unable to land a GuiLin. About hour later, the fog had lifted a little, but by the time we got to GuiLin, it had descended again. So we flew back to GuiYang. The hostess came down and asked if anyone could read and speak Chinese. Barbara did. It turns out that they had learned by rote the English for the most common statements. But could not read out from their book the statement that we would have to stay the night in GuiYang. So Barbara made the announcement. I then told the Japanese man next to me, and he told the other Japanese on the flight what was happening.

GuiYang is listed in the guide book as being a place you would only ever visit if you had to change trains. At the airport we were greeted by the only brand new bus I saw in the whole time I was on this journey in China. We traveled past the small stone houses by the side of the road. When we reached our accommodation, the Chinese travelers on our flight remained on the bus. They explained that as foreigners we had paid more and the benefit of this was that we got the nice accommodation. The accommodation turned out to be a dormitory with about 20 people in each dorm in a room where there was heating installed but not turned on. I always wonder where they stayed.

On the second day we took off. This is where the picture comes in. GuiLin is surrounded by the same mountains as in YandShuo, in this picture. The airport was still covered in cloud. As the plane approached, we started to zig-zag in our flight path. Off the sides of the wings, through the fog you could see the large lime stone mountains as in this image. They are about 300 meters tall. It was a frightening experience. The visibility was somewhere between 50 and 100 meters. I cannot express how happy I was to see the very flat rice paddies as we got to within this distance of the ground. When we reached the end of the runway and turned onto the taxiway, the whole airplane broke out in applause and I have never been more relieved on a plane flight. Up until about three months earlier, GuiLin had been the site of the worst air disaster in Chinese Aviation history.

We then traveled by local bus to YangShuo and spent several days there, including climbing moon rock where this photo was taken.

One other little story. You can see YangShuo in the distance next to the river. We were walking around one of those mountains, when these Chinese men came running the other way. They waved at us not to go there so we followed them. Shortly later there was a loud explosion. Turns out there was a quarry down there and their version of an alarm system when dynamiting was to run down the path and shout and wave at the unwary.

The noisy miner

One day, when I had to work on a Sunday evening, I spent the afternoon in centennial Park taking photos and this is one of the photos I took. The birds were quite tame, and if you were careful you could get quite close. There was this technique I remembered form a documentary where they said the trick was not to approach the animal directly. I do not have a powerful telephoto lens on my camera.

Knowing nothing of birds, I send this to a group where they provide identification. Now it is in the flickr Field Guide to birds because they invited me. I am chuffed. But the bird is still weird. Apparently they drive away the other birds and because the other birds are not eating the bugs, the trees start to die (well this is according to the Australia Geographic).

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fake opera houses

fake opera houses
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
I am pretty sure that this is in Jiu Jiang on the Yang Tze river. If you know which city this is in, please let me know.

In 1992-1993 I was in China with Barbara, Arthur and Friedel Braun. We had traveled along the YangTze River from Nan Jing on a local ferry. We stopped off in this town to visit the Mountain. After this we traveled upstream again to Chung Ching.

It was a bit of a surprise to see little Sydney Opera Houses arranged as entrances to a pedestrian underpass. I suppose the architect dreamt of building his own Opera Houses, but was instead was limited to designing and underpass.

The photo is so grainy because of the low quality of the original image and my scan. I hid this fact by making the photo more grainy to make it look deliberate.

An photo from Shang Hai on the same holiday.

bei jing dung lu

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The wreck of the Cherry Venture

The wreck of the Cherry Venture
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
My grandparents moved to Caloundra in Queensland in 1972. After this we began the trek of driving to Caloundra for our summer holidays. I remember when they were still trying to float this boat. It was on the new quite often when the tide and wind was right and they attempted to refloat it. They had dredges to dig channels and tugs to haul, but after a few years they gave up.

When it ran aground it was quite a new boat and was blue and white. This photo was taken about 10 years later.

Here are some images by others which show how much it has deterioated.

Rusting RivetsThe Wreck of the Cherry VentureWreck of the Cherry Venture 1

Friday, March 03, 2006


Yogyakarta 2 in 1991
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Yogyakarta in 1991

I stayed in the room behind where I took this photo for a about 3 or 4 days. It was a wondefull place, and I used a rick-shaw to get into town. However, I electrocuted myself on the lamp just out of view of the right. The lamp was low, hanging from the roof about one meter off the ground. It was a reading lamp for the chair and like all things in this place, had a 40 w or less globe in it to save electricity. There was a pull string. I pulled on the string and, instead of the lamp turning on, the string popped up into the lamp. I put my left hand into the lamp, and to my horror discovered that there was also a power point in there. Power points in Indonesia have two prongs which stick out of the power point and are live. Luckily they are only 110 Volts. The power of the electricity held my hand into the power point and the withdraw I had to fall over, using the weight of my body to pull my hand away. Luckily I learned this technique as part of my Electronic Engineering degree. My left arm has never been the same and I have to avoid more complex left hand piano pieces.
Otherwise I thought the central kingdoms of Java are definitely the best and I loved the way they rolled their R's in the local language

Another image from Yogyakarta.