China – 2011

As you may have guessed from the title, our most recent trip was to China. It was a truly amazing experience and one that I feel pretty fortunate to have had. To western eyes, China seems quite alien. (And to Chinese eyes, westerners must seem alien too, because you get stared at A LOT when walking the streets there.) I have been blessed with a sister-in-law, who is from China and was thrilled to give me a fantastic tour of her former home. Outside of an organized commercial tour, it would have been exceptionally challenging to get around and to have seen as much as we did.

 

The forbidden city as seen from Tiananmen Square.

 
 


The White Pagoda.

 
 

It’s very hard to adequately describe the Great Wall. We chose the section of the Wall at Mutianyu, which is less touristy. This section runs along a mountain line and is pretty challenging to walk, but the views are incredible!

 
 


By the way, almost all of the Wall that you’ve seen has actually been re-furbished. This is what much of the wall looked like before being rebuilt. If you ignore the “Do Not Enter” signs (as we did) you can walk along these unpatched areas of the Wall.

 
 

Sorry to keep butting in, but… I typically like to get away from urban centers when traveling. Usually I’ll be up at 5:00 am or so local time to photograph the countryside in the early morning light. (See the Ireland photos below.) Circumstances prevented that in the case of China, so I shifted to street photography to capture a little of the environmental feel of the experience.

 
 


If’ you’ve been to Disney World, you’ve seen this at Epcot. It is the Temple of Heaven.

 
 


We flew from Beijing about 400 miles west to the city of Xian – home of the Terracotta Warriors.

 
 


And now the food. Truly some of the most amazing food on the planet!

 
 

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