Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Before our big USA/CAN trip, we went to China for 2 weeks. The flight over took us along the coastline of Russia where sea ice was still breaking up. We landed in Beijing and everywhere you looked were building cranes, if you could see them through the haze. The locals claim it is mostly due to blowing sands from the Gobi desert this time of year.... We enjoyed tours of the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. It had snowed the night before on the Wall which gave it a nice touch.
We drove past the Olympic aquatic center and the birds nest. They were tough to see despite only being a block or two away. In the afternoon, the sun is barely distinguishable through the haze. It's the first time we've been able to look directly at the sun on a cloudless day. Then on to Xian and the Terra Cotta warriors. They were built to protect a paranoid emperor's tomb in his afterlife. Then on to Chongching where we boarded the river cruise ship.
Down the Yangtze river we travelled through the Gorges. This is where millions of people were relocated to accomodate the rising water from the Three Gorges dam. Chinese shipping standards are a little more lax than the US as evidenced by this hay barge. Then we visited a china factory and I tried my hand at some. Keep in mind the asymmetry is a creative statement.
On our way to Shanghai, we were entertained by this truck full of ducks travelling at 50 mph. In Shanghai, we visited an impressive garden, the newly renovated "old Shanghai" shopping district and the waterfront overlooking the east half of the city where they're currently constructing the tallest building on earth. At night, one can purchase many fine wares on the street including Rolexes and Mont Blanc pens for the amazing price of about $2.50 per watch and just under $1 per pen. It must be legit since it all happens in front of the official Rolex and Mont Blanc stores. On the way home we saw a hazy Mt Fuji from the airplane.