Three Gorges 3D Model and Dam Viewing
The Three Gorges Dam Model and then onto the Dam Viewing Area
Our coach parked and the guide introduced us to a building that looked like a shop, until we stepped to the back. Meanwhile, we listened to a long-winded explanation we could neither hear or understand. Up to our right a series of escalators.
Walking past several tourist stalls we were really impressed with the model of the dam.
The dam itself is constructed of concrete and steel (the amount of steel used was enough to make the Eiffel Tower sixty-three times over), it is 2,335 metres long at the top and the top is 185 metres above the water level. Construction took 17 years, opening in 2012 with the ship lift being completed in 2015.
The staircase locks and the box-like building – the ship lift.
The ship lift (picture taken from an information board) can lift vessels up to 3,000 tons (3,000,000 kilogram passenger vessels) 113 metres from the reservoir to the river below. The ship chamber itself has a pool of water 120 metres long by 18 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep. The moving mass including the counterweights is 34,000 tonnes. The lift was built to accommodate mostly small to medium-sized vessels, as larger ships use the dam’s adjacent five-tiered lock system to navigate the waterway. In addition to boosting capacity, the new lift reduces transit time for most vessels from several hours to under one hour, twenty to forty minutes on a good run.
Very difficult to appreciate the full size of the dam construction but we thoroughly enjoyed the detail on the model, time to see the top part of the real thing.
Outside we soon began the escalator ride up to the Tanziling Scenic Area and Platform 185 (number of metres above sea level). There are parallel steps to climb for those who prefer but we were happy to ride.
The escalators were impressive before we ever got to the views.
We left the series of escalators and took the steps up the final bit to the lookout. The sign read “no surmounting during a thunderstorm”. Wow, looking down on the step locks. To our right hundreds of giant pylons taking electricity away from the dam.
Further left – the ship lift.
Further left again – the other end of the locks.
Below, the fountain puts on a regular display.
So much concrete as we made our way down a couple of levels for a closer look at the locks.
We left our perch at the top and passed a giant concrete book outlining the dams achievements.
Colour me happy. Not lock-watched since Panama.
We watched a ship leave the bottom end.
We saw the beak of a chum slowly approach one of the huge lock gates and in time it opened.
Through she went joining those waiting for the next gates to open.
Looking toward the road bridge we came over.
A girl going through on the far side.
We were impressed by the amount of neatly patterned plants.
We could have stood and watched the ships to-ing and fro-ing through the locks all day but we had a date to visit the dam itself. Off we went to find our guide before another set of downward escalators and the fun of finding our coach.
ALL IN ALL AN AWESOME, HUMUNGOUS CONSTRUCTION
CHINESE INGENUITY ON A VAST SCALE