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pennae aquilae - April 14th, 2007

Date: 2007-04-14 08:58
Subject: Day Two in Beijing
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Tags:asia trip, travel
Okay, on to day two in Beijing. Our day started with the nice tea in the room at the Beijing Hotel, and then we hurried down to have some breakfast at the Sunshine Café off the lobby. Very huge buffet down there, prepaid as part of our tour, so we figured to eat some of it, though given that the bus was leaving at 7 am, we didn't want to get up too too early. A 6:15 wake up call gave us enough time to pack, wash, get downstairs and eat. (We eat fast.)

On the breakfast buffet was a fruit I've never seen before. It was bright pink on the outside, white on the inside with black seeds. The meat was much like white watermelon while the seeds were exactly like the ones in kiwi fruit. No clue what it's called--if you know, please comment!

The bus then left for the Great Wall. It was about a one hour trip and again Bruce regaled us nearly the entire ride with stories from Chinese history. It was raining lightly in Beijing when we left, cold and gray, but when we got to the Wall, the rain had stopped. It was still chilly and quite misty, though, there in the mountains.
more on the Great WallCollapse )
The Ming TombsCollapse )
Another fabulous lunchCollapse )
And then it was back into the bus for the three hour trek back to the ship for the All Aboard call at 5:30 pm.

Dad, I think, especially enjoyed the Ming Tombs. Something about climbing the Wall, and then walking the Sacred Way and seeing the artefacts really drove home the reality of the grandeur and longevity of Chinese culture. (Now to convince them we have to go to Wales and Ireland next. Which is the other half of our heritage.)

It's formal dinner tonight, so I had best go and start getting ready.
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Date: 2007-04-14 11:05
Subject: Day One of Shanghai
Security: Public
Tags:asia trip, travel
10:05 pm Saturday, April 14th

Today we arrived in Shanghai. All morning we were coming through the busy shipping lanes and up the river to the city, surrounded by container ships, ferries, junks, cargo vessels, tugs--every kind of boat you can imagine. None the size of the cruise ship, though. It made for fun watching out the windows and from the railings of the deck, and lots of the sailors on the ships going the opposite way would wave back if waved to. Shanghai is the third largest port in the world, supposedly (I don't know what the top two are) and it's easy to believe when one sees the huge amount of traffic going in and out.
Yet another cute, well-meaning tour guideCollapse )
Shanghai MuseumCollapse )
Acrobats and Shanghai at nightCollapse )
Tomorrow we're on our own. We have plans to meet a friend of Julian's for breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel. After that I think we may go up in the big TV tower, and then back to Old Town to look for the soup-in-the-dumpling shop and maybe have tea in the teahouse in the middle of the lake with the zigzag bridge. We'll see. Oh, and I should mail my postcards and buy a suitcase to put all the stuff I'm buying into.
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pennae aquilae
philosophy of life