[Second in a special one-day, two-part series on things seen while driving between Ningbo and Shanghai.]
Over the weekend I finally went round-trip over the two-year-old Hangzhou Bay Bridge. For readers who don’t follow Chinese infrastructure with the same enthusiasm as I do: the Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the world’s longest (35 km/22 mi) trans-oceanic bridge (a nice Discovery Channel short on the bridge’s construction, here), and a marvel of modern engineering. It’s also a jarring experience, riding above choppy seas on a bridge that – depending upon whether or not you obey the speed limits – should take half-an-hour to cross. And this weekend it was kind of spooky due the thick haze that hovered over Hangzhou Bay, reducing visibility to 1 km, roughly.
So it was all the more dramatic when, half-way across the span, a boom crane emerged from the haze, and resolved itself into a future service area – including a hotel and restaurant – built in the shape of a flying gull. Some 17 km/11 miles out to sea. I had my camera handy, and despite the fact that we were traveling at a serious clip, I managed to pull off a few in-focus shots of this future outpost. It’s really something; click on the thumbnails for enlargements.