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A Walk Through Three Lanes & Around West Lake

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

New cameras hey, so many buttons and dials. Then add all of the choices you get when you push or turn any of them.

I headed back to the camera store ready to purchase the Canon Powershot 15X wide angle lens and just as Yan Dan (beautiful camera girl) was ringing up the total I spotted the Fuji cameras so I asked her to give me a few extra minutes. Many years ago when I was walking around happy snapping with manual film in Australia and on my year stint travelling around Asia I always used Fuji film as it always gave me what I thought were the clearest shots available and I like green more than yellow.

And there she was! The one I’d been reading about, the Fuji FinePix 305 EXR beauty. Complete with a 15X wide angle lens and the latest 360 degrees panoramic function.

So began the re-bargaining and in the end I got almost a thousand Yuan off and had them throw in an extra battery along with an eight gig SD Card. As I take so many photos and travel so much each year I’m sure that people expected me to begin walking around with one of those huge and clanky billion foot lens things that you see hanging around many tourists necks. Yes I’m sure they are amazing but they just don’t fit in a pocket now do they so they are impossible to take on a bike ride out in the hills and rice fields or into a classroom filled with seventy primary school students.

Add to that the worry one must have about it being stolen or broken. So how did BabyFuji and I get along today?

Not too well to be honest, by mid afternoon I was ready to abandon her on a street corner or the nearest bin. I now have all of these functions and a menu full of 'stuff’ I have no idea about such as shutter speed, aperture, high ISO and low Noise or low ISO and high noise. I know my camera beeps but I can’t hear it make any other noise and anyhow, how does noise affect a still photo? I just don’t get it. I spent most of the day wasting the first battery staring into the screen and changing this and that trying to figure out what the hell all of the above meant and still found many shots too dark or light. Then there was the AUTO function which I found needed to be kicked in the guts. Thankfully as the sun was setting and my patience was wearing thin I met an elderly Chinese guy who had the same camera and he seemed to be in a great mood trotting from here to there taking shots and smiling at them in the crystal clear viewing screen.

So I moved a little closer and acted surprised when I saw his camera.

He knew some English and after I told him about my troubles and that I believed my auto function was broken he laughed and said ‘No, No, No, the auto function not real on the EXR cameras. You must use the EXR function as that is the real auto function. Well why didn’t I think of that? Anyhow we began taking some photos together and happily using the EXR function they were identical, except for the fact that many of mine were tilted to one side Eddakath style. This made him laugh and he began doing the same but instead of just tilting the camera he leaned his entire body to one side which confused many people around us.

Anyhow, now you know how Photographically Challenged I am so enough of that.

Most of today’s photos were taken long before I knew what the EXR function was and with the wrong functions and ‘stuff’ so most were not what I was expecting from my new camera at the end of the day. A bit of blue in the sky would also have helped soften my entry into the world of ‘real cameras’ with their confusing buttons, dials and menus full of even more choices.

<u>SO WHAT DID I DO & WHERE DID I GO TODAY?</u>

<u>West Lake Park </u>

On my map there is a big green patch with the words West Lake written on it. For me, that’s more than enough of an invitation.

Here in China most big cities have a West Lake (named after the Garden of Eden found in Hangzhou city) and you can usually count on them being very peaceful and beautiful where you can spend countless hours walking with your head in the clouds, your arm around your peachy squeeze and a finger on your camera button.

On the way I realised that Fuzhou drivers, especially those riding scooters would have to be the most ferocious I’ve come up against on a footpath. Seriously, they ride in a zig zag manner as they have only one hand on the handlebars due to the fact that their other hand is glued to their mobile phone which needs surgery for it to be removed from their ear. As there are hundreds of them together at red lights I often find myself looking around for William Wallace riding his scooter back and forth before them gearing them up for their battle with the actual owners of the footpath…the pedestrians!

Situated in the northwest of Fuzhou, West Lake Park was first created over one thousand seven hundred years ago. Over the centuries it has been reconstructed and expanded many times but most of what is seen today (over thirty hectares) was planned and created by order of Lin Zexu who was a national hero during the Qing Dynasty.

<u>Three Lanes & Seven Alleys</u>

On the way to West Lake Park I literally stumbled upon this amazing area of history. I was walking along a busy shopping street and I found what I was looking for, a small alley way leading behind all the hustle and bustle of the modern day facades so I began walking and taking photos of the old architecture and I then came across one of the three lane ways that had been fully restored and was filled with tourists just like West Street in Yangshuo.

The first thing I did was find someone from the younger generation to ask where I was and they led me to a board that had the details of the huge project that was still underway. I spent the next several hours walking to and fro down each of the lanes and alleys and in and out of many of the restored homes and headed back there on my journey back down to the Min River shopping district after I left West Lake.

This is why I walk everywhere and I don’t need to tell you that I was in heaven! Below is some information I found on the internet on the area.

In the heart of downtown Fuzhou, instead of skyscrapers, you will find a large area of ancient residential buildings, which is a rarity in modern Chinese cities. This area is known as Sanfang Qixiang, literally, ''three lanes and seven alleys'' a critical symbol of Fuzhou as a historic city.

The district was first shaped in the late Western Jin Dynasty and during the Song dynasty.

The area was home to many scholar-bureaucrats and wealthy gentry and it prospered during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, especially in the middle Qing Dynasty when "Three Lanes and Seven Alleys" first appeared in local history. There are about one hundred and fifty ancient houses with complete courtyards and all are under some measure of heritage protection.

The history of Sanfang Qixiang's houses is in the very walls.

The huge bricks are unknown in modern structures and if you look at them closely you will see tiny seashells embedded in them with the sand that was collected on the beaches to make the bricks. Also characteristic of the district is the north-south orientation of the dividing walls, the green-gray tiled roofs, the white walls and the twisting, bluestone-paved laneways. Unlike other houses in China, which have a flexible layout, the dwellings of Sanfang Qixiang are symmetrically built around a central north-south axis. Covering an area of about forty hectares, Sanfang Qixiang is regarded by many experts as a museum of Ming and Qing dynasty architecture.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: The guy in the photo holding his hands in the air is Yang Wen Ming.

I met him just around the corner from my hotel where is was busking for money to continue his university studies as he is from a very poor Miao Peoples Village near Kali City in Guizhou Province where I spent one month of my summer holidays sleeping in and visiting many rural Miao Peoples Villages.

When I met him he was writing on the footpath in both Chinese and English the reasons why he was busking in Fuzhou city so we met a few hours later and I took him for his first hearty feed in a few weeks, some beer and some good conversation and left him a healthy donation towards his education. ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Chemical Brothers The album was &#8216;Live at The Social’. ____________________________________________________________

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure


Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Three Lanes &#38;amp; West Lake Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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