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the Degree Confluence Project
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China : Shānxī Shěng

4.5 km (2.8 miles) SE of Luojiaqu, Shānxī, China
Approx. altitude: 1165 m (3822 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 38°S 68°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: north #3: east #4: south #5: Xiuyin, Baojin, Sanhu, Zhiyong, Herman, Yingzhe #6: gps #7: locals near the confluence point #8: trainstation Zhen Cheng Di #9: view From train Taiyuan - Zhen Cheng Di #10: reservoir near Qiang Jia Zhuang

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  38°N 112°E (visit #1)  

#1: west

(visited by Herman de Haan, Xiao Yingzhe, Xiao Baojin, Xi Xiujin, Cai Sanhu and Feng Zhiyong)

English Narrative

26-Jul-2005 -- 寻找交叉点北纬38°东经112° 时间:7月26日 天气:晴朗 队员:Herman、萧宝瑾、郗绣锦、冯志永、萧英喆 消费:火车票4.5×5×2 = 45元人民币;雇用面包车50+60 = 110元人民币;饮用水及食品不超过50元人民币

在寻找完我们的第一个交叉点之后,寻找第二个交叉点的欲望越来越强烈,通过对地图的分析,我们把目标定在了北纬38°东经112°,这个点在太原的西方,从地图上看,它在汾河的附近。 通过几天休整,我们开始计划第二次旅行。与第一次不同的是,我们有了一些经验,知道该怎么准备了。从第一次的经验来看,我们需要一个更为详细的地图,甚至是地形图。同时这次我们有了两个对当地相对比较熟悉的同伴:郗绣锦和冯志永。他们两个现在是我爸的学生,但是过去的经历让他们成为这次旅行有力的伙伴:郗绣锦曾经在当地一带的煤矿工作,冯志永的家在附近山区。在临行前一天,我们五个人在一起作了最后的准备,并且决定按照Herman和他家人的建议,坐早晨6:55的火车去镇城底镇(铁路到这里就结束了),然后从镇上雇用一辆面包车,前往我们要去的地点,如果顺利,我们乘坐下午15:32的火车返回,如果不顺利,我们乘坐晚上20点四左右的火车返回。 计划预定的是7月26日早6:00在太原理工大学南校门集合,我和Herman的家距离很近,我先去他家然后同去集合地。但是,26日早上把我从睡梦中叫醒的却是Herman的急促的敲门声。我突然意识到,睡过了。匆忙起来后,我们共同奔向集合地,这时其他三个队员已经等候一段时间了。还好,来得及。6:09我们打了一辆出租车直奔火车站,因为早,路上没有什么困难,20分钟就到达车站。

买票上车后,大家开始尽量保存体力,吃点早饭,没有什么事情的就开始打盹。一路上我和Herman谈论着关于Confluences Hunting的事情,他给我讲了很多其他人寻找交叉点的故事,都很有意思。车上的乘客对Herman这个老外看起来都很有兴趣,都想跟他说两句话。一个中年妇女用不太标准的英语问Herman: “What’s your job?”,这让我和Herman都很惊奇,因为在中国,这样的妇女,会讲英语的不多。因为她发音不标准,带有浓郁的山西古交地区口音,所以Herman听不懂,于是我竟然成为把山西方言英语翻译成相对比较容易让老外理解的中国普通话英语的翻译,非常有意思的工作!因为Herman一路都拿着照相机时不时拍摄车窗外的风景,所以当他听明白这个妇女问他的工作是什么时,诡秘的一笑,然后低声说:”I am a spy.”我想,我还是不要把这个玩笑告诉那个妇女了,不然,本已成为焦点的Herman一定会让整个车厢骚乱。于是我把Herman真实的工作,告诉了她。接下来,那个妇女又用山西英语介绍了自己的工作,并且打听到了Herman的年龄,国籍,太让人惊奇了。原来她是一个作牛肉生意的,她的英语都是在陪她女儿学英语时学会的。 由于一路聊天,也没做什么准备,我们错过了很多风景,没有拍到,不过没有问题,我们还有回来的路。 可怜天下父母心,临下车时,那个妇女又掏出手机,拨通了家里的电话让自己的女儿跟Herman用英语交流,她女儿英语比较好,跟Herman你来我往说了一阵子,之后,那个妇女高兴的下车了。 9:25我们到达了火车终点镇城底车站。下火车后,很快就发现,正如郗绣锦和冯志永所说,有很多面包车这里等待,我们雇用了一辆,价格50元人民币,司机答应我们去,并且等待我们找到点后再送我们回到火车站。 前往目标的道路是一条沿着河滩地路,非常难走,很颠簸。大家开玩笑说,也许这段路是这次旅行最困难的部分。同样怀着忐忑的心情继续向北纬38°东经112°逼近。

途中Herman说这次旅行只有两种可能”Most easy or most difficult”,的确是,从途径的景象来看,这一带的山基本上都是石头山,非常陡峭,冯志永和郗绣锦凭借经验告诉我们,石头山中会有很多的毒蛇。但是山西最大的河汾河沿途经过,河滩地势比较宽阔平坦,而河水几乎干涸,我们要找的点距离河不算太远。如果就在河滩,那将是most easy,如果在山里,无疑most difficult. 我们的车沿着河不断颠簸前行,但乐观的是,似乎道路总是沿着GPS只是方向延伸,说不定点就在路上啊! 一路上路过龙尾头,策马。9:25我们到达了最接近目标的路旁,根据地形,似乎这个座山的北面坡度很陡峭,于是我们又返回了一段路,哪怕GPS指示距离远了一些,但是地形是比较好走的。 车停在路边一个停产的工厂门前,这里有老两口看守着。大概了解了一下地形,我们决定爬山,庆幸的是一圈石头山,环抱着我们要登的这座唯一的土山。也许是心中有些激动和庆幸,每个人都忘了先侦察一下有没有上山的路,而是简单观察地形,径直向目标方向爬山去了,司机师傅听说目标就在不远的山上,也出于好奇心追上了我们一起爬山。其实,就在我们旁边有一条汽车都能开上去的土路,虽然是盘山而上,却非常容易走。 爬了一段山之后,都比较疲惫了,这个时候最前面的队员突然发现有一条路横在面前,经过考虑,虽然这条路与GPS的指示方向暂时不一致,我们还是决定沿路而行。中间我们有过对山路的怀疑,并且有几次试图走直线爬山前往目标,但很快就发现,无论怎么走,都会与这条路相遇,终于坚定不移的沿路而行了。 最终,在步行了将近40分钟后10:02我们到达了目标,就在山路边不到两米的坡下。这么快就找到了目标,出乎大家意料之外,照了相,休息一下,并且在这里又埋下一个瓶子,里面有我们队员和司机的名字,希望后面再来的人能够找到他。

10:40我们返回,下山很容易,沿着山路一直走,回到了我们离开车爬山的起点。 因为寻找这个点,比预期的要容易,回到车上之后,距离下午那趟火车还有将近4个半小时,征求了司机师傅意见之后,大家决定再给司机师傅60元钱,继续往远走去看看汾河水库。11:08我们出发前往水库。11:19路过罗家曲,这里是Confluence网站提供的地图上,用来标识北纬38°东经112°这个点的村庄。 11:36分我们到达了水库,比想象的大很多,宽约两公里,长越16公里,一眼望不到边。大家有些兴奋。尽管有很大的牌子写的“禁止游泳”,但是也许爱游泳的人都舍不得眼巴巴地看着这么大这么美的水库而不下去破浪。Herman和我父亲都是非常喜欢游泳的,看到有几个爱好者在这里游,他们也心痒了,两人一拍即合:下水。我们跟Herman说牌子上写的“禁止游泳”,Herman跟我们开玩笑的说:“噢,我不懂中文。”,看来以后警告标识还是用图形或者中英文双语的比较好,哈哈! 玩够休息够了,13:04我们依依不舍的踏上返回的路,仍然是颠簸的路,这让我们更加确定,这次行动,最困难的部分就是这段路。50分钟后回到了火车站,还有一个半小时火车才能来,在车站上,我们买了一些水和食品,大家边等火车边加加油休息休息。 15:20企盼中的火车终于来了,我们踏上了归途。一路上把来的时候错过的景象都补拍了,一路无话,17:57回到家。 晚上在我家大家一起庆祝,也算是为Herman送行,因为他几天之后就要回国,不能继续跟我们一起找点,我们都很遗憾,他先发起找点地活动,但是今后却不能与我们同行。说起这次行动,大家都认为没有第一次那么兴奋,就是因为过程比起第一次来说,太简单了,我们说:“这次就像是专门去水库旅游,顺便去找了一个交叉点!哈哈!”Herman更直接:“如果不去水库,这次旅行就太没意思了,会遗憾的!” Confluences Hunting就等于探索,经历,磨难之后,享受快乐享受成功。 大家通过两次找点,悟出了一个道理:走山路,太直接也许会很艰辛,有时候需要充分观察思考,然后迂回前进,反而更容易达到目的。做人何尝不是这样呢?

(Written by Magiclife Xiao)

English Narrative

26-Jul-2005 -- Yesterday Xiao Yingzhe and I met to do the final preparations for the trip. Yingzhe is a friend of my Chinese wife and was present at our wedding seven years ago. We expected that this confluence point was either very hard or very easy to reach because of the mountains in this area of China. The confluence point is situated close to the river Fen which made us hopefull. After studying maps on the internet and calculating costs we decided to go by train to Zhen Cheng Di and take a bus to the confluence point (7,5 km). This would be cheaper and more fun than going by bus from Taiyuan.

On the 26th I left the house of my parents in law and went to the house of Yingzhe and his wife. At 5:50 A.M. Yingze and I went to the main entrance of the Taiyuan Technical University Compound where Yingze’s family lives. His father, Xiao Baojin, and two students, Xi Xiujin and Feng Zhiyong, were already there. A cab took us to the train station, costs 15 RMB.

My father in law warned me. The train would be very dirty and not pleasant. It would be a typical Chinese stoptrain with a lot of poor people. A one way ticket costs only 4,5 RMB. A lot of students took the train to go hiking in the moutains. People sat on newspapers, to protect their trousers. The train was not really dirty, but clean is another thing. A Chinese woman wanted to speak English with me and even called her daughter so she could speak English with me aswell. They were very eager to practise their English.

We got out in Zhen Cheng Di at around 8:45. The weather was good. Lots of sunbeams. Also lots of little busses waiting for costumers. Xiao Baojin talked to a driver and negotiated with him about the fare. The driver would take us for 50 RMB to the nearest point to the confluence point and back. He wanted to take us because I am a foreigner and in this part of China foreigners do not come a lot.

The road was very very bumpy and partly on the riverbank. The river nolonger existed because of an enormous dam. Behind the dam there was a big waterreservoir. We passed many industrial sites. Coal mining is the main industry here. After being shaken we got out of the little bus, 3,5 miles from the confluence point. The driver became enthoustiatic and decided to leave his bus too and joined us for the walk to the confluence point. We climbed a little, saw a farmer and reached a road which seemed to go in the right direction. This point was very very easy to reach. It was only 1,5 meter from the road and we could actually have reached it by car. Fortunately we did not discover the road earlier because the climbing made the trip more fun. We reached the point after 40 minutes. Xiao Baojin did not particularly like this trip. It was too easy. The trip is more interesting when the confluence point is hard to reach, he said to me.

I and Xiao Yingzhe made pictures of the site. It was situated on a hill of around 1000 feet high. The trip was succesful! and we cheered. We walked back to the little bus in 28 minutes. The train would leave at 15:32. So we still had five hours to kill and decided to go to the big lake (reservoir) near Qiang Jia Zhuang. We passed Luojiaqu. Although there was a warning not to swim in the lake, a lot of people did. Xiao Baojin and I also took the opportunity to have a swim. The weather was very hot, so I liked it very much, hoping not to get some kind of weird disease.

The driver took us back, over the bumpy road, to the train station in Zhen Cheng Di. In the train station hall two men where laying on chairs, which made the trainstation superintendent think it would be a bad example of Chinese habbits. He told the people to get up and sit on the chair otherwise a foreigner would think negatively about China. The two men did not object and changed there waiting style.

I said to Yingzhe that we were ready to be eaten because we were steamed, burned and shaken during this trip. The train took us back to Taiyuan. Yingzhe’s wife prepared a delicious mail and we celebrated the succesfull visit.

(Written by Herman Tjesse de Haan)


 All pictures
#1: west
#2: north
#3: east
#4: south
#5: Xiuyin, Baojin, Sanhu, Zhiyong, Herman, Yingzhe
#6: gps
#7: locals near the confluence point
#8: trainstation Zhen Cheng Di
#9: view From train Taiyuan - Zhen Cheng Di
#10: reservoir near Qiang Jia Zhuang
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)