By Zhong Xisheng
Li Mei: Xiamen has so many new landmarks these days but I'm in love anew with the Xiamen Bridge and its beautiful and breathtaking views of the island and mainland.
Adam: That's funny, you grew up here, didn't you? I thought you'd have forgotten the bridge by now.
Li Mei: Sometimes you take things for granted and don't really see their beauty.
Adam: Agree. And I do love sea bridges because they connect you to the city in so many ways. You must know something about the Xiamen Bridge but I really don't know its history at all.
Li Mei: I do know a bit of its history from a school project I worked on in college.
Adam: So tell me, what is special about the Xiamen Bridge?
Li Mei: Well, it might amaze you that the only way to get to the island of Xiamen until 1991 was by boat or by crossing a two-lane sea dyke. The Xiamen Bridge changed all that.
Adam: I imagine the city's modernization made the bridge a necessity. So, it was the first bridge connecting the island to the mainland.
Li Mei: Yes, but it was also the first over-sea highway bridge in China. It was a pioneer in so many ways, like its use of bridge handrails for illumination instead of traditional light poles. And Chinese engineers made lots of breakthroughs in hydrogeological knowledge.
Adam: Interesting. I love the aesthetic nature of the bridge and its views. You can see a green garden on one side and traditional Minnan-style architecture on the other.
Li Mei: I live on the Jimei side of the bridge. My favorite view is of the twinkling lights of the city reflected on the inky ocean.
Adam: Let's put aside a day and visit Xiamen's four cross-sea bridges.
Li Mei: Great, although our tour will include five bridges when the new bridge to Xiang'an is built.