Friday, 15 May 2009

Blue Sky Thinking

The spring has brought with the remarkable sight of clear skies in Shijiazhuang. It has actually been a little disorienting. I've been so used to peering at the city through a thick covering of smog that the clear skies have made everything seem hyperreal. The closest thing I can compare it to is when I have got a new glasses prescription and the world suddenly jolts into an almost overexposed clarity.

So I thought I would treat you to a 20/20 view of the Shiz while it lasts.

Expensive apartment blocks overlooking the water park.

A small pond at the water park: I'm quite intrigued by the building in the background, as its neo-classical design is highly unusual for this city.

The ferris wheel. I keep meaning to go up in while the clear skies last to get some photos of the neighbourhood. Although that would obviously also depend on the cleanliness of the windows.

A random shot of the street I live off, for anyone curious.

And just in case you thought I might be exaggerating, this a photo of the same bridge, taken in September 2008:

Visit skies galore at Skywatch Friday.


  1. pictures are great especially like the one of the ferris wheel. We used to live near the home of the creator of the ferris wheel Jacksonville Illinois

  2. I've been following you around, it seems, commenting on the same ABC posts:) A great choice for Q this week; I know so little about Chinese history. But I was really drawn by these beautiful photos today. I'm glad the smog lifted so that you could take these.

  3. WOW! Just gorgeous! I love these photos! Jenni

  4. Clear skies?! Crikey J!

    (or perhaps the blue isn't showing up on my computer...)

  5. Nice to see your city! I know what you mean with clear skies, seen from your perspective. It's like a luxurious home in Niger where everything is (nearly) functioning! Or a day when the electricity cuts "weren't so bad". :-D Enjoy all the odd uniqueness of China while it lasts, for the blue sky will wait for you when you go other places.

  6. Terrible smog in the old shot, making the new one look amazing. I really like the reflections in the pond.

  7. Hi J, these pictures makes me teary eyed with sadness because am missing Shi now though i now how dirty the skies over there are. My 2nd year, i stay close to that park up there and one day i thought to myself that i wish i could stay on that building structure. I wonder if that building is occupied now or being sold out to owners. For the 2 years i stayed in Sjz, me and my students go to this park to spend time after a term is over.

    By the way, which school are u teaching at and where do you live? My 2nd year i lived in Bin Hu Xiao Xu (close to the park you've shown here) and my 1st year i lived in Yan Gang xin Cun over the east side of the city -- nearer to Century Park and Shi Foreign Language School.

    I wish you more clear skies there,..and opps i think it's a great time to visit the Pear Farm this time and also the Botanical Garden. :)


  8. I can't imagine dealing with smog like that. Glad you were treated to clearing skies. Lovely photos.

  9. Wow... I can't believe the difference in skies from Sept. to May... I remember how difficult it was to breath in Tijuana ... smog so heavy! The sky in the first photo looks gray with a drop of rose... ~Maria

  10. The place looks so peaceful and calm :) beautiful photos!

  11. Hi J, because of this post i was inspired to make this post here -

    Hope you can drop by. :)

    Am terribly missing the place now. :) See ya around!

  12. Wow, a clean sky over Beijing. Grace once took a photo of the water cube of the Olympic stadium when she was in Beijing. I used photoshop to give it a beautiful blue sky and everyone recognized it was a fake.

  13. Glad you got a clear sky for that first photo, looks very serene.

    That's some smog, I'm glad we don't get it here. Makes me appreciate our clear view of the sky and clean air.

  14. Wonderful photos and interesting post. Have a nice weekend..

  15. Very nice reflections. The colours of the skies are very lovely.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Alex's World! -

  16. lovely shots...liked the reflection shot of the pond.
    indeed there is a huge pollution problem goodness. i have seen the people wearing masks when out and about.

    have a great weekend.

  17. Fabulous pictures and a great comparison