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Awaiting Dawn by the Old Railway Bridge/鐵橋、溪水、大武山─高屏溪舊鐵橋的曙光

 

Awaiting Dawn by the Old Railway Bridge

◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photo by Cai Sheng-yu

 

  Whether they come from north or south, motorists heading toward the Old Railway Bridge which crosses the Lower Danshuei River (now known as the Gaoping River  because it divides Kaohsiung from Pingtung County  and not to be confused with the Tamsui River in north Taiwan) are bound to end up on Taiwan Highway 29. Road signs for the Old Railroad Bridge Education Wetland Zone soon come into sight. Watching the sunrise over the century-old railway bridge beguiles photographers, many of whom arrive here just before dawn. 

高屏溪曙光 Sunrise at Gaoping River

  Those in the know share tips for appreciating the sunrise scene. Heading south from the old bridge's parking lot, one passes under the old railway bridge, then after 10 minutes' walk one can enjoy views of the western side of the old bridge, the river  flowing beneath it and the sky, as well as a strip of lawn further inland by the river bank. As the minutes pass, onlookers gradually see the old railway bridge appear more clearly, while in the distance is the blurred shape of Mount Dawu. The sun emerging from behind Mount Dawu is seen by those waiting as a prelude to a good day.

  About ten minutes before the sun rises, the first train shuttling passengers from Pingtung to Kaohsiung approaches at full speed. Radiating intense light, it is sometimes mistaken by onlookers, who exclaim it to be the rising sun. As the train gets closer, those watching realize their mistake, and the buzz subsides.

  As the sky clears, it is possible to get a more substantial view of the contours of Mount Dawu above the clouds. At this moment, the rising sun is a sight to behold. Those in the know share keen observations and detailed explanations which show their familiarity with photographing Mount Dawu and the sunrise from this spot, and which distinguish professionals from amateurish photographers. As the sun climbs, the old railway bridge becomes more visible. Eventually, the mountain skies take on the color of ivory, as the previous phenomenon of vivid lights and shadows fades away. Onlookers turn on their heels and stroll along the riverbank while bathing in the sunlight. If the opening time for the old railway bridge over the Lower Danshuei River were not be as late as 9 o'clock (admission is free), they could conveniently visit the bridge itself. At this early hour, many travelers flock to nearby Jioucyutang for breakfast.

  Having experienced an intriguing excursion to the Old Railway Bridge Over the Lower Danshuei River and vistas of the Gaoping River, travelers are welcome to explore Jioucyutang. Filled with historic elements, Jioucyutang entices visitors with its alluring buildings, delicious cuisine and friendly residents.

 

鐵橋、溪水、大武山─高屏溪舊鐵橋的曙光

◎文/周書正 ◎攝影/蔡勝宇

 

  前往舊鐵橋,不論是從南或北的道路接台29線後,就能見到「舊鐵橋溼地教育園區」指標。早在清晨四點半前就架好機器,選好的位置是拍攝舊鐵橋日出的經典角度,從停車場往南走,穿過鐵橋下方後走十分鐘,是一片能看到高屏溪西岸半座舊鐵橋,完整延伸出溪水與天空之間的岸邊草地。等到天色稍亮,鐵橋切割俐落的線條與大武山依稀可見的起伏輪廓相連,日出便漸漸地從山的背後升上來。

  日出前十分鐘,我們一行人遠遠看到一顆橘黃色光球,從山的縫隙冒出來。那光亮強烈而刺眼,在仍昏暗的天色中撒出一片光暈。「啊!太陽出來了!」我興奮地叫著,枯等近兩個鐘頭的友人們也振奮起精神,預備按下快門。奇怪的是光球並未如預期升上天際,而是一點一點變圓、變大,朝我們奔來。直到看到它像彗星般拉長尾巴,我們才驚覺那是從屏東開往高雄的首發列車。

  「其實真的蠻像的。」攝影師朋友安慰著大家的自尊。直到天色更亮些,山的輪廓從水面冉冉升起的雲霧中浮出來,我們才真正確定日出時刻到了。「不錯喔,今天大武有出來。」一位大叔說,那語氣好像大武山是他熟識的鄰居,從晨霧中走出來打太極,讓我們這些與日出「裝熟」的初學者無地自容。

  日出慢慢爬上山,舊鐵橋的線條在日照下一點一點地俐落起來。等到山頭附近的天空覆滿象牙白,光影色彩最變化萬千的時候就過去了。我們收拾好機器,沿著河堤在晨光裡散步,爬上了舊鐵橋天空步道的橋頭。可惜九點之後才開放,我們便轉往鄰近的九曲堂尋覓早飯。

  就在高屏溪畔開始2017年美好的一天吧,來看看這條高雄屏東母親一般的河,也來認識九曲堂的人、老屋、美食、還有歷史。

 


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