The little yellow train came to a stop at the Shuanglong (Double Dragon) Bridge, only 3km. (a little over 1 mi.) west of Jianshui. The bridge was built at the confluence of the Lujiang and Tachong Rivers. These two rivers twist along their separate courses looking like two dragons, hence that bridge’s name. Below the confluence, the new river is called the Nanpan.
The bridge was originally built with only three arches during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty between 1736 and 1795. However, it had to be increased by another 14 arches during the 1820‘s due to a flood which widened the river. The bridge is now 148 m. (486 ft.) long and varies in width from 3-5 m. (9-16 ft.)
The central tower of the bridge is quite spectacular, although it would undoubtedly look better on a sunny day when the colours of the tiles would show up. Never mind, when you’re travelling, you get what you get and I was just grateful that it was just misty not pelting down with rain!
We had time to walk over the bridge, but first we had to get past the ‘elephant’ guards!
The rain became a little heavier as we walked onto the bridge. But that red umbrella just gave the touch of colour that lifted the scene with the main tower.
A closer look at the coloured tile roof of the main tower.
There’s another, smaller tower at the far end of the bridge.
Looking down on the bank showed another way to enjoy the view of this bridge!
A beautiful reflection on the lee side of the bridge.
The river looked so peaceful as I began to walk back over the bridge towards the train.
And, then, guess who got in the way and clogged the bridge walk? Yep. Those models and their army of photographers. They were simply taking command of the whole bridge.
Although it was raining lightly this parasol was just for show! However, I noted that the light rain didn’t suit the make-up, costumes or cameras. Our way was totally blocked, and, if you look at the faces, we weren’t especially welcome walking into their shots! With a little patience from everyone, the photos they wanted were taken, and we made it back across the bridge.
A bemused local.
…and another one. I’d much rather photograph these faces than the heavily made up faces of those models. These faces have lived. I’m sure these men have great stories to tell.
Rear view of another fisherman. They’re not real raindrops on the umbrella.
A final look at the lovely reflections of this famous Shuanglong (Double Dragon) Bridge. Then it was back on the train and onwards towards Tuan Shan along a track that was originally laid by the French when they had greater influence in the area than they do now. Hence, of course, the metre gauge track.
Our cheery (!) musician regaled us with a piano accordion this time. I did like his hat!
A fellow passenger enjoying lunch!
Our next stop was at an old French inspired station that had seen much better days… but at least there was a toilet… even if it was only a slit in a concrete slab. When needs must…..
A local used the station as a short cut.
Quite a stern look from this little fellow. Wonder what’s up with him.
It wasn’t long before we came into the outskirts of a small town.
And then we were there, at our destination for the day. It was around 11.30 and now we had 90 minutes to walk around the old village before the train returned to Jianshui.
More of that walk anon
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