> CHINA: 12-07-10 China (select) File:CHINA, select pics. Update: 2019-11-08.
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12-07-10 China
China main 1 D273
China main 2 D274

2012-07 China trip{#1}
* Beijing, Great Wall, Forbidden City
* Pingyao walled city, mountain walks
* Xian walled city
* Terracotta Warriors, small, large
* Biking, Xian city wall
* Cable car

Pearson to Beijing{depart}

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12-07-10 - Waiting for the Airbus.

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chk date - This is where we live... when we're not in China.

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chk date - Niagara Airbus to Pearson. Note first aid kit for medical emergencies. But that would be anticipating.

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12-07-10 - Huge lineup. It all begins to blur together.

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12-07-10 - No VIP lounge for us?

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12-07-10 - Is this our plane?

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12-07-11 - In flight movie over Alaska.

Beijing airport

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12-07-11 - Hmm, looks a lot like Pearson.

Are you sure we've gone anywhere?

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12-07-11 - The same kind of airport experience.

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12-07-11 - Same kind of ground transportation.

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12-07-11 - First sight: Danny, Elizabeth. I guess we MUST be in China.

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12-07-11 - Shuttle downtown. Don't you wish Toronto had one of these?

Beijing streets, to the CGA apartment.

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12-07-11 - I still think this looks too familiar ...

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12-07-12 - Derek, stay with the group.

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12-07-12 - Now I KNOW we're in China.

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12-07-12 - We hoof it to the CGA apt.

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12-07-12 - Glass towers on the avenue.

Beijing, back alley meal.

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12-07-12 - At an eatery in an alley near the apartment.

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12-07-12 - They seem glad to see us. (CAN they see us in the dark?)

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12-07-12 -

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12-07-12 - We're really glad to see THEM.

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12-07-12 -

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12-07-12 - But Derek has jet-lag.

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12-07-12 - Later, we head back to the apartment.

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12-07-12 -

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12-07-12 -

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12-07-12 - At the frontdoor: lion-dog concierge.

The Great Wall.{#1}
* Bus trip from Beijing to Mutianyu
* Day trip
* Delivered to parking lot at base
* Time limit to catch the bus back
* Walked up, gondola car down

Beijing, The Great Wall at Mutianyu.{#1}

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12-07-12 - Where do we go from here? We're with a bus-tour group who are given a time limit and released to find our own way. D and D, M and D, stick together.

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12-07-12 - The usual ticket confusion.

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12-07-12 - Danny says we're going up that way.

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12-07-12 - The first of many stairs.

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12-07-12 - Tourist gauntlet on the way up. Diana steels herself NOT to buy a sun-hat. A towel to absorb perspiration might have been more useful.

websrch:run the gauntlet



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12-07-12 - Nice rustic railings. Handy for winching yourself upward, in lieu of a cable car.

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12-07-12 - First sight of the wall.

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12-07-12 - Good luck coins bashed into tree stump ... By the ones who survived the climb. Do I see a couple of loonies? Some crazy Canucks probably knocked them in with a handy rock. Or maybe they used their heads.

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12-07-12 - Here they come, gaining altitude.

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12-07-12 - Hang in there, Merle.

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12-07-12 - The top is in sight (insight? Not yet!)

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12-07-12 - Probably powerplant emissions. View back toward the point where the bus deposited us.

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12-07-12 - A chairlift down in the far distance. Our choice at this point was downhill or uphill. Both directions had a chairlift at the end. Naturally we chose the more strenuous upward route.

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12-07-12 - Looking back as we ascend. Oh, the bear went over the mountain/ The bear went over the mountain/ To see what he could see/ And all that he could see/ Was ...

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12-07-12 - Onward and upward. No bears in sight.

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12-07-12 - Kite-flying on the wall. They almost got it launched.

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12-07-12 - The upward route. Still an arduous path ahead.

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12-07-12 - Over on the north side of the wall ... The Unknown. Once the home of difficult neighbours, the Mongols.

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12-07-12 - Village outside the wall.

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12-07-12 - Cannon against the hordes.

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12-07-12 - The steepest staircase yet. More like a stone ladder.

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12-07-12 - Last chance for cold drinks.

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12-07-12 - We reach our turn-around point. Next year when are are in China again... Looks like it would take a whole day to reach the top. Maybe a cruise instead.

Chairlift down from Great Wall.{#1}

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12-07-12 - Waiting area.

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12-07-12 - Well, Merle. Glad you came?

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12-07-12 - Diana dismbarks.

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12-07-12 - Tourist gauntlet again at the bottom.

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12-07-12 - Map of where we were. We walked up to the point marked #10, along to #14 and down via the gondola cable-car. Next year when we are much fitter, all the way to the top.

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12-07-12 - Waiting for the rest of the group. Why is my beer out-of-focus, Danny? Is it the camera, or my eyes? We're seeking refreshment and waiting for the group at a restaurant near the lower parking lot where our bus is waiting.

In Beijing again, dinner.

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12-07-12 - Merle reflects. Back alley eatery.

Beijing, to the Forbidden City.{#1}

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12-07-12 - 8:15 pm. Isn't this my bedtime? Morning. Still jet-lagged. My watch is 12 hours off. Says Friday afternoon, July 13.

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12-07-12 - Diana waits for us to get dressed.

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12-07-12 - We stroll back downtown.

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12-07-12 - "18" has big significance in China?

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12-07-12 - Forgot my lip gloss.

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12-07-12 - Forgot my map. Danny has one.

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12-07-12 - Past the postal service monument.

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12-07-12 - Across busy cross-streets.

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12-07-12 - A diplomatic enclave or gov't offices?

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12-07-12 - Nearing our goal for this morning.

Beijing, the Forbidden City.{#1}
* Walk, subway from our apartment
* Non-regulation guide pounces
* Ticket buying complicated
* Guide shows us the main features
* Difficult to match his info to pics

Beijing, the Forbidden City.{#1}

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12-07-12 - The front entrance.

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12-07-12 - Ticket office.

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12-07-12 - We find a guide, or ... ... a guide finds us.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Not the Montreal Botanical Garden (MBG).

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06-07-25 - Lotus flower, MBG.

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06-07-25 - Lotus, MBG.

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08-09-16 - Lotus seed head, MBG.

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V09-08-27 - Lotus leaf, MBG.

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12-07-13 - Through portals to vistas beyond.

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12-07-13 - Roofline procession.

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12-07-13 - A temple ?

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12-07-13 - The Bell Temple?

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12-07-13 - Professional photo shoot.

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12-07-13 - Family photo shoot.

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12-07-13 - Inside the temple.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - City wall in far background, rt.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - School group.

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12-07-13 - Repairs under way.

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12-07-13 - Canal big enough for a royal barge. Only an internal canal? or connected with the external moat?

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12-07-13 - Keep up. Our guide in striped shirt.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Avid tourists, the Chinese. (Like us)

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12-07-13 - The guide explains the finer points.

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12-07-13 - Those schoolkids again.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Incense burner?

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12-07-13 - The crane, a frequent motif.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Looks like a warrior turtle. Compare to Six Nations turtle.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Great cauldron.

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12-07-13 - Kids keep the handles polished.

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12-07-13 - Winnie the Pooh?

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12-07-13 - Roofline figures again.

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12-07-13 - Pagoda outside the city walls?

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - The Dragon Pavement.

websrch:Forbidden City pavement



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12-07-13 - Ferocious lion dog.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Lion-dog crushing all opposition.

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12-07-13 - Merle is unpurturbed. By the political implications of this.

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12-07-13 - Step-wise rooflines.

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12-07-13 - To the Imperial Garden.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Curiously shaped rocks. Rocks like this, also in the Chinese section of the Montreal Botanical Garden.

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12-07-13 - In case of rain?

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Gazebo atop fantasy mountain.

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12-07-13 - Sign rt: "perilous hills, no climbing."

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12-07-13 - Too busy looking cute, for climbing.

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12-07-13 - Too busy taking pictures.

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12-07-13 - Fantasy flowerpot.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Exit

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12-07-13 - Outside the Forbidden City wall.

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12-07-13 - Walking along the moat. Looking for Tienanmen square, our next destination.

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12-07-13 - Corner tower.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Corner tower, side.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 -

Beijing, Tienanmen Square.{#1}
* Walk from Forbidden City, close
* Security check in underpass
* Metal detectors
* Huge crowds, holiday mood
* Discreet police presence

Beijing, Tienanmen Square.{#1}

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12-07-13 - Vast open spaces. Through a security check with metal detectors to get here.

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12-07-13 - The flowering of communist society?

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12-07-13 - Monumental buildings around the square.

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12-07-13 - The National Museum of China.

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12-07-13 - A huge digital display.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Police presence.

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12-07-13 -

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12-07-13 - Despite police presence, holiday mood.

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12-07-13 - Heroes of the Revolution.

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12-07-13 - Chairman Mao on the banner.

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12-07-13 - Chairman Mao Mausoleum.

websrch:tienanmen square



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12-07-13 - Railway museum, transportation.

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12-07-13 - Bike rental, also transportation.

Beijing, back to the CGA apartment.

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12-07-13 - Kite-flying in the street. One kite doing acrobatics over busy traffic.

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12-07-13 - Rest stop in parkette.

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12-07-13 - Danny snaps his father-in-law ...

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12-07-13 - ... in hopeful pose. ... as would-be monarch of all he surveys.

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12-07-13 - CGA reps, Peking duck banquet.

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12-07-13 - Just ducky, thanks.

Pingyao, walled city.{#1}
* Unesco World Heritage site
* Half-day train trip from Beijing
* Stay at backpacker hostel
* Comfortable, food and drink available
* Walk on wall around the inner city
* Side trip to Mianshan Valley

Pingyao, tuk-tuk taxi ride from RR stn.{pingyao} Tick-tock taxi Pingyao?

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Don't stick out your elbows.

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12-07-14 - Compare Beijing. Here EVERYTHING is exotic.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Curious distortion, moving camera. Driving forward, to the right. The camera catches the top of the image perhaps 1/50 second before the bottom. The pic is therefore tilted toward the past.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Stationary, no tilt. Slow repairs in progress.

Pingyao, at our hostel.{#1}

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12-07-14 - This is our street.

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12-07-15 - Backpacker place where we're staying.

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12-07-15 - The Harmony Guesthouse. Run by "The dragon lady", an all-knowing, all-helpful lady direct from the pages of the "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip.

websrch:The Dragon Lady



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- Terry and the Pirates comics strip.

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12-07-14 - Places to sit out front.

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12-07-14 - Denizens, the Harmony Guesthouse.

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12-07-14 - Lion-dog, flip-flops ...

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12-07-14 - The more luxurious hostel next door. The potted plants are always greener in the other people's atrium.

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12-07-14 - Lunch. Diana contemplates the menu.

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12-07-14 - Merle revels in novelty.

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12-07-14 - Backpacker guy sidles past.

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12-07-14 - Diana, Danny, Elizabeth upstairs.

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12-07-14 - The atrium outside our room.

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12-07-14 - Later, rain into that atrium.

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12-07-14 - Messages: Ingar was harmonized here. Well yes. This IS the Harmony Guesthouse.

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12-07-14 - Looking out the front entrance.

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12-07-14 - We read books in our room.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Dry in here.

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12-07-14 - The plumbing works.

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12-07-14 - We contemplate the artwork.

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12-07-14 - We ...

Pingyao walkabout after wet morning.{#1}

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12-07-15 -

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12-07-15 - THEY haven't noticed the rain.

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12-07-15 - We settle on a place for lunch.

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12-07-15 - Lunch: bull's penis consomme?

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12-07-16 - Off down the street ... replete. No gustatorial disfunction.

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12-07-16 - Promising architectural details.

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12-07-16 - Bikes and electric mopeds for rent.

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12-07-16 - A historical reenactment ahead.

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12-07-16 - Costumes for hire. Rent costumes. Have your picture taken, dressed as an olde tyme aristorat.

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12-07-16 - Some of us qualify as street urchins.

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12-07-16 - Or stray lion-dogs.

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12-07-16 - You may well ask ... ... what I think of the aristocratic tradition.

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12-07-14 - This is our street.

websrch:The Dragon Lady


Another Pingyao walkabout.{#1}

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - South(?) gate near our hostel.

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12-07-14 - Superstructure.

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12-07-14 - A temple?

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12-07-14 - Alley.

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12-07-14 - Emporium.

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12-07-14 - NOT the IKEA lamp department.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Toddler taxi.

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12-07-14 - Chairman Mao and others, top rt.

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12-07-14 - A bite to eat? Or should we press on?

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12-07-14 - Lotsa luck.

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12-07-14 - Rustic retro resto.

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12-07-14 - Procession approaching.

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12-07-14 - Derek the photog stands firm.

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12-07-14 - Procession receding. The grand old duke of York/ He had ten thousand men./ He marched them up to the top of the hill,/ And he marched them down again.

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12-07-14 - Curio shoppe.

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12-07-14 - Another hostel.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Wouldn't mind a studio up top.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Curio shoppe.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Not the Great Gate of Kiev.

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12-07-14 - Princesses for a while.

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12-07-14 - Glass curio maker.

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12-07-14 - Roofing tiles waiting for a roof.

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12-07-14 - Weathered portal.

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12-07-14 - Blue notes. At least six shades of blue in this picture.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Back to the topic of food.

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12-07-14 - Picture yourself in a rickshaw. Nice shoulder. The arm draped ever so negligently. At least six cameras at work here.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Outside the pedestrians-only zone. We didn't cross the barrier. A killer mix of bikes, mopeds, cars and pedestrians.

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12-07-14 - Thirsty?

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Bilingual signage.

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12-07-14 - A few of MY favourite things too.

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12-07-14 - We turn our backs on technology ...

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12-07-14 - We embrace floral patterns.

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12-07-14 - The same dog as the one at our hostel?

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12-07-14 - Tasty, but loses in translation. We stop for dinner and Derek tries this. A bad translation of "fatted calf", as in "kill the fatted calf for the prodigal son"?

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12-07-14 - Waiting for customers.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - A work in progress.

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12-07-14 - Taffy puller or noodle maker? Skilled.

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12-07-14 - Merle decides.

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12-07-14 - That pink one at the end, Merle.

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12-07-14 - A touch of Buddhism in this shop.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Put your photo on a plate.

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12-07-14 - Chairman Mao's chin, top right.

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12-07-14 -

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12-07-14 - Left outside. (Tears in her eyes?)

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12-07-15 - Guardian girlikins.

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12-07-15 - Stalwart (Can women be stalwart?)

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12-07-15 - Back again at our hostel.

Pingyao, walk on old city wall.{pwall}{#1}

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12-07-15 - She's caught a foreigner. Hope that "V" sign means "victory", or "peace", and not something satirical about foreigners.

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12-07-15 - Her boyfriend wanted a picture.

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12-07-15 - Up onto the wall.

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12-07-15 - We enter at the south gate. Had to go some distance outside the city wall to find the ticket booth.

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12-07-15 - Our hostel is up this street.

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12-07-15 - Telephoto view up our street.

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12-07-15 - Inside the south gate. We start here.

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12-07-15 - The courtyards of olde towne.

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12-07-15 - Solar water heaters.

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12-07-15 - Lotsa luck.

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12-07-15 -

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12-07-15 - Fire-damaged buildings?

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12-07-15 - Upscale townhouse.

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12-07-15 - Cross street, residential area. I can see power wires strung along the right-hand wall. How power is distributed is unclear. No pylons visible. Our hostel had electricity.

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12-07-15 - Mini-flood, last night's rain

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12-07-15 - Cross-street.

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12-07-15 - West(?) gate, rest stop and snacks.

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12-07-15 - Danny and Derek take the same pic. Subjects' attention divided. Diana looking right, Merle left.

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12-07-15 - Not a tourist neighbourhood.

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12-07-15 - Bye for now. The way ahead is blocked for repairs to the wall. We have to go down.

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12-07-15 - Back on the ground, wall repairs, left. The wall's brick facing has been removed. Probably the restoration budget has run out, allowing a growth of weeds till things get sorted out.

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12-07-15 - Alley.

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12-07-15 - NW bastion, turning east.

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12-07-15 - Monkeyshines outside resto.

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12-07-15 -

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12-07-15 - School's out.

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12-07-15 - Back up onto the wall, north gate.

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12-07-15 - Fortification. Say, Danny, methinks we may need some more of this fortification stuff when we get back to the hostel.

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12-07-15 - Direct hit! Right-on, father-in-law.

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12-07-15 - Local colour, for a small fee.

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12-07-15 -

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12-07-15 - Pingyao, passe muraille, moat. The real Pingyao, outside the moat. Cars, commercial and apartment buildings.

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12-07-15 - Could this have been a prison?

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12-07-15 - Note electric fence, right.

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12-07-15 - We're passed by a large tour group.

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12-07-15 - Getting our money's worth ... ... as far as mileage goes. We head back to our starting point. Except for the bit under construction, looks like we'll be making a complete circuit.

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12-07-15 - Very small back garden.

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12-07-15 - A brief rest, looking north. Check the shadows if you don't trust my directions. This was afternoon. Shadows from the west.

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12-07-15 - Trad accomodation with all mod cons.

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12-07-15 - Statuary installation.

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12-07-15 - An affaire of honour.

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12-07-15 -

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12-07-15 - En garde.

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12-07-15 - DR: Put up your swords, good sirs.

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12-07-15 - Let's submit this to arbitration.

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12-07-15 - Scene from a Spaghetti Eastern. The man with an unpronounceable western name (Sirver?) will settle the matter.

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- Cultural echoes.

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12-07-15 - And for a few yuan more ...

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12-07-15 - His sidekick might do an art show.

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12-07-15 - The real Pingyao, outside the old walls. Rooftop solar water heaters by the hundreds. Do they work in the winter?

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12-07-15 - Inner city parkette under construction.

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12-07-15 - Paving brick, like our kitchen floor.

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12-07-15 - Kitchen floor, Woodside Dr. The imagination - able to leap tall stories with a single bound.

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12-07-15 - Busy carpentry shop.

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12-07-15 - Oh-oh, passport check?

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12-07-15 - Guardians of the wall.

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12-07-15 - Pingyao portal.

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12-07-15 - Pure and simple.

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12-07-15 - Looking back the way we've come.

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12-07-15 - Corner tower.

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12-07-15 - Pingyao guy cools off.

D273-450
12-07-15 -

D273-451
12-07-15 - Pingyao pigeon (top)

D273-452
12-07-15 - Care to sign the guestbook?

D273-453
12-07-15 - A new mini-mall under construction.

D273-455
12-07-15 -

D273-456
12-07-15 - Town criers?

D273-457
12-07-15 - Heavy artillery. Hot up here. That reminds me, Dan. My turn or your turn?

D273-461
12-07-15 - The brollies of Pingyao.

Digression on Brollies.

D213-081
08-08-12 - Compare Merle, Lake Contau narrows.

D243-154
10-10-04 - Hydro roof alvar and lost brolly, NF.

1202-14
01-06 - LWH with umbrella, Netherby.

0260-21
84-08-22 - Quebec, street scene.

0367-32
92-07a - Merle Poppins, Niagara Whirlpool.

0371-22
92-07e - Up a creek, but still eating grapes.

0371-25
92-08 - Up the same creek with the Davies.

Pingyao, walk on old city wall.

D273-462
12-07-15 - Sorry ... Back to the present.

D273-463
12-07-15 - Full circle, we prepare to descend. Back down to street level.

D273-465
12-07-15 - Goodbye, South Gate.

D273-466
12-07-15 - Were you wearing those the whole time?

D273-467
12-07-15 - No sign of blisters.

Footnote to the past.

t85a-38b
85-08-31 - Lots of plastic shoe experience, Merle? The "red jellies" on our "million dollar" Georgian Bay Island. Near the GB launch site at Killarney Provincial Park.

AL07-022
85-09 - Merle's red jellies, Long Point. At Long Point Provincial Park? Probably also made in China. Forshadowing? Sands of time. Ebb and flow. Sunrise, sunset, swifly flow the tears?

Mianshan Valley from Pingyao.{mshan}{#1}

D274-001
12-07-16 - The visitor centre, mist, smog.

D274-002
12-07-16 -

D274-003
12-07-16 - Who is this statuesque statue?

D279-150
12-07-17 - Electronic infrastructure, visitor ctr. Derek checks aroung the back of the lobby display panel while Danny and Elizabeth try to get us senior citizen discounts.

D279-151
12-07-17 - A preview of what's in store up top?

D274-005
12-07-16 - We take the chairlift up.

D274-006
12-07-16 - Diana and Merle ahead.

D274-007
12-07-16 - View from the chairlift.

D274-008
12-07-16 - Heads up down there!

D274-009
12-07-16 - Nice tile work.

D274-014
12-07-16 - Cable cars in the mist.

D274-016
12-07-16 - A path up for foot traffic.

D274-018
12-07-16 - Steeper.

D274-021
12-07-16 -

D274-024
12-07-16 - Chinglish for Don't go off the path. We're now out of the chairlift and on foot again.

D274-025
12-07-16 - Not a quote from Chairman Mao. "Plants also have feelings, be nice to them." Mao was more of a "You have to break eggs to make an omlette" kind of guy.

D274-026
12-07-16 - A network of pilgrim paths.

D274-027
12-07-16 - We reach a temple complex.

D274-028
12-07-16 -

D274-029
12-07-16 - With eatery.

D274-033
12-07-16 - Scenes of Buddhist lore.

D274-034
12-07-16 - A major site dug into the cliff.

D274-035
12-07-16 - Like a religious power-plant? Good karma transmitted to the people. We have our own version back home.

D257-034
11-10-16(D257) - Adam Beck PGS, Niagara R.

D274-036
12-07-16 - Galleries in a crescent round the slope.

D274-037
12-07-16 - Looking back down, the parking lot.

D274-039
12-07-16 - Now those are real SOFFITS.

D274-040
12-07-16 -

D274-042
12-07-16 - An animal drama from Chinese tradition.

D274-046
12-07-16 - Courtyard of the temple.

D274-047
12-07-16 - Carved out of the cliffside.

D274-048
12-07-16 -

D274-049
12-07-16 -

D274-052
12-07-16 - Detail.

D274-053
12-07-16 - Serene figure (Buddha?)

D274-057
12-07-16 - We entered through the gallery opposite.

D274-058
12-07-16 -

D274-059
12-07-16 - Rock-hewn sages, warriors?

D274-061
12-07-16 -

D274-062
12-07-16 - In a Chinese temple garden (Ketelby?)

D274-064
12-07-16 - The path down.

D274-065
12-07-16 - View back upward.

D274-070
12-07-16 - Parking lot and shuttle buses.

D274-074
12-07-16 - Casualty, not ours.

D274-077
12-07-16 - Pagodas in the trees.

D274-079
12-07-16 -

D274-081
12-07-16 -

D274-083
12-07-16 - Hollyhocks, Derek's childhood favourite.

D274-089
12-07-16 - Rest stop.

D274-095
12-07-16 -

D274-099
12-07-16 - The guys.

D274-102
12-07-16 - We saw these roofs on the way up. Now a closer inspection from the inside.

D274-104
12-07-16 -

D274-108
12-07-16 - Organic with their surroundings.

D274-109
12-07-16 -

D274-116
12-07-16 - Four-headed turtle monument. Something to do with the four quarters of the compass?

D274-130
12-07-16 -

D274-117
12-07-16 - Roofbeams.

D274-123
12-07-16 - Nearing the lower level.

D274-129
12-07-16 - More warriors sprung from the earth. Is there a Greek legend of planting teeth and having warriors spring up from the earth? Jason and the Golden Fleece. Argonauticae.

D274-135
12-07-16 - At the parking lot again.

D274-137
12-07-16 - A memorial?

Pingyao excursion: Qixiang Valley.{Qixiang}{#1}

D274-139
12-07-16 - We get off the shuttle again. Look this up on the net.

D274-141
12-07-16 -

D274-143
12-07-16 -

D274-146
12-07-16 -

D274-157
12-07-16 -

D274-153
12-07-16 - Rock gate like an elephant.

D274-159
12-07-16 - We advance into the unknown.

D274-164
12-07-16 - You take my picture. I'll take yours.

D274-166
12-07-16 - Rest stop.

D274-170
12-07-16 - Garden sculptures on the way up.

D274-173
12-07-16 - Where the heck are we going, Danny?

Up "Hazardous gorge"{#1}

D274-174
12-07-16 - Entrance to a famously dangerous ravine.

D274-175
12-07-16 - Oh-oh, gonna have to portage, Merle. Portage OURSELVES, that is.

D274-177
12-07-16 - Chain-hung rungs, cliffside steps. Everthing: wet, slippery and rusty. Who could resist the challenge? Certainly not Derek who plunges on ahead.

D274-179
12-07-16 -

D274-181
12-07-16 -

D274-182
12-07-16 -

D274-185
12-07-16 - Diana takes a battery break.

D274-186
12-07-16 - Good place for a hermit's campsite.

D274-188
12-07-16 - Even little kids scoot up this trail. Someone tried to tell me, in Chinglish, that this trail wasn't really suitable for senior citizens. I had found this out already, but smiled agreeably, waited till he was gone, then carried on.

Top o' the gorge{#1}

D274-206
12-07-16 - Finally the treacherous ladders end.

D274-207
12-07-16 - Congratulations, you survived. Now, how do we get down again? Let's follow that path past the elephant.

D274-208
12-07-16 - Elephant suppressing turtle. We'll have to research the symbolism of these statues. Neither of these look like creatures who could navigate this ravine. But the rest look capable.

D274-211
12-07-16 - Rat.

D274-212
12-07-16 - Lion?

D274-213
12-07-16 - Dragon?

D274-214
12-07-16 - Monkey.

D274-215
12-07-16 - Dog.

D279-173a
- Sorry, misplaced.

D274-216
12-07-16 - Don't get pushed over the edge. Our guides in Peru gave us the same advice. Keep to the inside of a cliffside path in case you get bumped outward by a too-energetic porter.

D274-220
12-07-16 - We seem to have reached an outpost.

D274-221
12-07-16 - And, thankyou, a chairlift down.

D274-225
12-07-16 -

D274-227
12-07-16 - She can't look down.. Or is she just checking her mobile?

D274-228
12-07-16 - Everybody says "Hello" in English.

D274-229
12-07-16 -

D274-233
12-07-16 - Curious rock formations on the hillside.

D274-236
12-07-16 - Sculpted efects.

D274-241
12-07-16 - Pagodas in the woods.

D274-243
12-07-16 - Those roofs again. We seem to have looped back. Apart from the lower shuttle access by road, the surrounding hills are laced with an interconnected network of paths.

D274-247
12-07-16 -

D274-249
12-07-16 - Tile roofs from the chairlift.

D274-251
12-07-16 - Near the chairlift terminus.

D274-252
12-07-16 - Culinary malfunction at base camp. We are now back at the parking lot and ready to board the shuttle again.

Another fantasy garden on the way back.{#1}

D274-253
12-07-16 - A Chinese arch of triumph?

D274-254
12-07-16 -

D274-256
12-07-16 - Concrete crocodile and water buffalo.

D274-257
12-07-16 - Cement tree roots.

D274-259
12-07-16 - Like African ant-hills.

D274-260
12-07-16 -

D274-264
12-07-16 - Dragons by the waterfall.

D274-265
12-07-16 -

D274-266
12-07-16 -

D274-268
12-07-16 - Fishing boat with maidens.

D274-269
12-07-16 - Danny makes Ridgeway garden plans...

D274-270
12-07-16 - ... Gonna need some water buffalo ...

D274-272
12-07-16 - ... with cute kids on their backs ...

D274-273
12-07-16 - ... a few cranes ...

D274-275
12-07-16 - ... a few more cranes ...

D274-274
- ... a lion stalking a water buffalo ...

D274-276
12-07-16 - ... some fish below the falls.

And oh ya, a huge pump to move all that water.{#1}

D274-277
12-07-16 - Shuttle buses back to the front gate.

Pingyao to Xian.{#1}
* The "hard sleeper" overnight train
* A more luxurious backpacker hostel
* Walks, biking on old city wall
* Terracotta Wariors, small and large
* Aerial tramway up Huashan, Flower Mt
* Xiangsi Prov. Peoples' Hosp. 2wks

Train to Xian.{#1}

D279-154
12-07-17 - The "hard" sleeper. Three bunks on each side. Open corridor.

Xian, at the Xiangzimen Youth Hostel.{xian}{#1} But does the flower over the right ear mean ... or ...?

D279-158
12-07-18 - More upscale than Pingyao? With terracotta warrior guarding the dining room.

D279-159
12-07-18 - Let's consult the guidebook ... before running off in all directions. We'll get organized before breakfast.

D279-161
12-07-18 - Don't look so guilty, I've got one too.

D279-160
12-07-18 -

D279-162
12-07-18 - Water anyone?

D279-165
12-07-18 - Diana. Stop teasing ...

D279-166
12-07-18 - Derek consults his Carlsberry device ... ... for the latest travel information.

D279-167
12-07-18 - Say, is this really breakfast? ... ... or is it lunchtime already?

D279-168
12-07-18 - Better check the terracotta warrior menu.

D279-170
12-07-18 - Aftermath. Must have been lunch.

D279-171
12-07-18 - Don't stomp off like that, Derek.

D279-172
12-07-18 - Lunch was too good to last.

Xian walkabout.

D279-173
12-07-18 - A search for the novel and exotic.

D279-174
12-07-18 - Eureka.

D279-179
12-07-18 - Is that Voltaire with laurel wreath?

D279-180
12-07-18 - Can't remember what I liked about it.

D279-181
12-07-18 - Flower shop.

D279-182
12-07-18 - Food is a perennial topic.

D279-184
12-07-18 - Glitzy shopping centre.

D279-185
12-07-18 - Derek helped this lady get her bike ... ... over the curb. Passers-by noticed the foreigner's strange behaviour.

D279-186
12-07-18 - Art Shoppe.

D279-187
12-07-18 - Bowls and kitchen utensils.

D279-188
12-07-18 - A good game?

D279-191
12-07-18 - ... Sheng Yuan Plaza. "Big Yuan-bucks Plaza"? Just like "Big Pen-bucks Centre" back home.

D279-192
12-07-18 - Not the slightest desire!

Xian, next day. Breakfast at the hostel.

D272-020
12-07-19 - Elizabeth Patience. Our translator. Like Diana and Danny, a teacher at Changchun. She hates the nickname "Liz" so everyone calls her "E".

D272-021
- Slow start this morning.

D272-023
- Enjoyed that tall Carlsberg yesterday. Unfortunately, haven't been able to enjoy this DRIK DAGLIGE-ly, as the sign suggests. Once in a blue moon, perhaps. Next year, when we are in Denmark.

D272-042
12-07-19 - Hostel atrium.

Xian, walkabout.

D272-044
- Cute hat.

D272-046
- The Colonel sure gets around.

D272-047
- The wreckage of an escalator? Why do I love pics of decrepit, derelict machinery? Am not really a Luddite. Something to do with my old friend: "Ou sont the neiges of yesteryear?"

D272-048
- Our landmark for finding the hostel.

D272-050
- Shopping fantasy.

D272-051
12-09-18 - Restrain yourself, Merle.

D272-052
- Specialty shop: fans.

Xian, back at the hostel.

D272-053
- Hostel dining room.

D272-054
- The British Empire still lives, sort of.

D272-055
12-07-22 - Hostel front door.

Xian, biking on old city wall.{xbiking}{#1}

D274-278
12-07-17 - Bike rental.

D274-279
12-07-17 - Getting started. Wobbly at first.

D274-280
12-07-17 - Looking down from the wall.

D274-281
12-07-17 - Park outside the wall.

D274-282
12-07-17 - Wide enough for two lanes of car traffic. Huge, compared to the Pingyao city wall.

D274-283
12-07-17 - Guard post.

D274-285
12-07-17 - Newer city towers outside the wall. Postmodern doodads on the top, just like Etobicoke town centre. You know, pitched roofs, cuckoo clocks, etc. Quotations from architectural tradition.

D274-292
12-07-17 - Everybody here is camera crazy. We take pictures of people taking pictures.

D274-295
12-07-17 - Probably the railway station. Little did we know what lay in store for us at the Xian railway station.

D274-296
12-07-17 - Gate and barracks.

D274-298
12-07-17 - Looks like a temple complex.

D274-299
12-07-17 -

D274-301
12-07-17 - A temple or ceremonial complex?

D274-304
12-07-17 - Classy balcony, but ditch the laundry.

D274-305
12-07-17 - Another barrack block on the wall.

D274-306
12-07-17 - support our local troops.

D274-307
12-07-17 - Park outide the wall.

D274-308
12-07-17 - Traffic quieter than usual today.

D274-309
12-07-17 - Tourist pageant.

D274-310
12-07-17 -

D274-311
12-07-17 -

D274-312
12-07-17 - Advancing in formation.

D274-313
12-07-17 -

D274-316
12-07-17 - Not one of OUR feet, surely? We completed a 360 circuit of Xian, old city, on the wall. 13.7km distance.

websrch:Xian city wall


Xian walkabout.{#1}

D274-318
12-07-17 - See blonde, 2nd left.

D274-319
12-07-17 - Post modern quotation from the past. Something like the cuckoo clocks on skyscrapers in the Mississauga town centre.

D274-320
12-07-17 - Not all that common in Xian. Note the same woman two pics back. Quite by accident, I hasten to say.

D274-321
12-07-17 - Underground shopping mall. The only way to get to the Bell Tower in the middle of the round-about.

D274-322
12-07-17 - From the Xian Bell tower.

D274-323
12-07-17 - Diana spies a view. Pounce-click!

D274-324
12-07-17 - Ten lanes altogether.

D274-325
12-07-17 - The Bell Tower bell ...

D274-326
12-07-17 - ... and fish-shaped clapper.

D274-327
12-07-17 - Drum Tower in the distance.

D274-328
12-07-17 - Smile for the camera.

D274-330
12-07-17 - Just to prove we were there.

D274-331
12-07-17 - "E", Diana discuss traffic conds.

D274-332
12-07-17 - Derek inspects infrastructure.

D274-335
12-07-17 - To the Muslim quarter for eats.

D274-337
12-07-17 - Raw eats. Chestnuts perhaps?

D274-338
12-07-17 - Over there looks good.

D274-341
12-07-17 - Maybe that place up ahead, Danny.

D274-342
12-07-17 - Foodstuffs galore.

D274-345
12-07-17 - Here?

D274-346
12-07-17 - Next door?

D274-347
12-07-17 - We end up with a strictly Hallal meal.

D274-348
12-07-17 - Next, the Drum tower.

D274-349
12-07-17 - Big Tom.

D274-351
12-07-17 - Cute lion-dog. Significance? Dunno.

D274-356
12-07-17 - Looking back toward the Bell tower.

D274-358
12-07-17 -

D274-359
12-07-17 - Walking home to the hostel.

D274-360
12-07-17 - Landseer knock-offs?

0527-18
89 - Merle, Trafalgar Square. Statue designed by the artist Edwin Landseer. Merle, posing as the Androcles of the Faculty of Education. She hated getting stuck with that role.

D274-361
12-07-17 - Our familiar hotel landmark.

D274-362
12-07-17 - Closer, hotel entrance.

Xian - TC Warriors, small.{xtcwarr}{#1}

D272-025
12-07-18 - Disconcerting glass floor.

D272-038
chk date - Booties to protect the glass.

D274-363
12-07-18 - Figures seem 10 to 20pc life size.

D274-364
12-07-18 - Chariot?

D272-031
chk date -

D272-034
chk date - Display case items.

D272-035
chk date - A family group? Charmingly doll-like figures.

D274-369
12-07-18 - The emperor's livestock in review.

D274-370
12-07-18 - Items on gallery display.

D274-371
12-07-18 - Fully stocked storerooms. Through a glass, darkly.

D274-372
12-07-18 - Dioramas.

D274-374
12-07-18 - Warrior ghost from the past?

D274-375
12-07-18 - Tumulus. On the way out.

Giftshop and reproduction facility.{#1}

D274-376
12-07-18 - Souvenir-sized dragons, charming. Now wish I'd bought one of these.

D274-377
12-07-18 - We'll ship right to your door.

D274-378
12-07-18 - Lovely inlay screens.

D274-379
12-07-18 - Pheasants.

D274-380
12-07-18 - Greek goddesses?

D274-381
12-07-18 - Warriors.

D274-382
12-07-18 - You can order the full-sized models.

D274-383
12-07-18 - A disconcerting warrior gaze.

D274-384
12-07-18 - Guard-croc. Jade?

D274-385
12-07-18 - Lion-dog with wings.

D274-386
12-07-18 - Elephant.

D274-388
12-07-18 - Polo-playing lovelies.

D274-389
12-07-18 - Role-playing lovely. I want to be your fancy lady, she says. Fancy that, Derek?

D274-390
12-07-18 - Illuminated globes. Alternate world views. The Chinese version on the right. Not exactly RED anymore. But pink is still mildly progressive.

D274-391
12-07-18 - Klimt Knockoff.

D272-039
12-07-19 - Unaccustomed as I am ... Cripes, this costume is heavy.

D272-040
12-07-19 - To the manor born.

D272-041
12-07-19 - Oh-oh! Here comes the auditor.

Xian, TC warriors, large.{xtcwbig}{#1}

D274-392
12-07-18 - First views, top layer stripped off.

D274-396
12-07-18 -

D274-398
12-07-18 - Jumbled, as they were first uncovered.

D274-400
12-07-18 -

D274-403
12-07-18 - Restored to their original positions.

D274-404
12-07-18 - Warriors or butt-kicking mandarins? They certainly look tough and resolute.

D274-410
12-07-18 -

D274-411
12-07-18 - More recently excavated items.

D274-412
12-07-18 - Work in progress.

D274-413
12-07-18 - But everybody else is doing it.

D274-414
12-07-18 - Incomplete specimens.

D274-415
12-07-18 - Piranesi aspects of the site's roof.

D274-416
12-07-18 - A building big enough for a zeppelin.

D274-418
12-07-18 - They're at the starting line ... And they're OFF. Reminds me of a Spike Jones record. ... And the winner is ..... BEEDLEBAUM. Sorry, let's get serious again.

D274-424
12-07-18 - Well-fed horses. Too fat for racing.

D274-428
12-07-18 - Wouldn't think of trampling the artwork.

Huashan - Flower Mountain.{huashan}{#1}

D274-429
12-07-19 - A busride to the cable car station. The mountains look promising but the visibility is less than optimum.

D274-434
12-07-19 - A prayer to the gods of steel, aluminum. Materials used in cable-car construction. Hopefully, QUALITY-CONTROLLED cable-car construction.

D274-438
12-07-19 - Finally make it to the loading area ...

D274-442
12-07-19 - ... And achieve liftoff.

D274-449
12-07-19 -

D274-450
12-07-19 - Wow! We're really gaining altitude.

D274-451
12-07-19 - Swishing past vertical cliffs.

D274-456
12-07-19 - A bump every time we cross a tower.

D274-458
12-07-19 -

D274-462
12-07-19 - Don't look down, Merle.

D274-464
12-07-19 - A path on the left of the valley?

D274-467
12-07-19 - Nearing the top.

D274-469
12-07-19 - We arrive at the terminus shed.

D274-470
12-07-19 - Lucky padlocks on the guard rail.

D274-471
12-07-19 -

D274-472
12-07-19 - Gloves to prevent handrail rust stains.

D274-473
12-07-19 - Thousands of pilgrims on the trail.

D274-476
12-07-19 - Still more to see, way up ahead. See that line of pilgrims snaking up the trail?

D274-479
12-07-19 -

D274-481
12-07-19 - Joss sticks available for the prayerful. "Joss" sticks: I've heard that the term came from the Portuguese in Macau: deus: god-sticks or, in effect, incense prayer sticks, lit like votive candles.

websrch:joss-stick



D274-482
12-07-19 -

D274-489
12-07-19 - We turn back to the cable car...

D274-490
12-07-19 - ... after cooling drinks.

D274-491
12-07-19 - Photo op while waiting to ride down.

D274-494
12-07-19 -

D274-499
12-07-19 -

D274-500
12-07-19 - The down lineup "centimeters" forward.

D274-503
12-07-19 - Not the umbrellas of Cherbourg.

D274-504
12-07-19 - Through the cable-car window.

D274-508
12-07-19 -

D274-513
12-07-19 -

D274-529
12-07-19 - Only another 1000 feet of plummet.

D274-533
12-07-19 -

D274-537
12-07-19 -

D274-538
12-07-19 - At the bottom again.

D274-542
12-07-19 - Another car heads upward.

D274-548
12-07-19 - This is where we waited 2 hours.

Xian, aftermath.{xafter}{#1}

Aftermath{#1}
* Flight from Xian to Beijing
* Hotel near Beijing airport, 4 days waiting for our flight
* Brief excursion to Euro shopping ctr
* 12 hr flt home over Siberia, Alaska
* Relief, but many positive aspects

D272-056
12-07-20 - Xian RR station: X - 1 minute. My notes say this was Friday 07-20. EXIF on JPG says 07-22. If 1 day fast, sb 07-21? Calendar agrees, Friday 07-20. So some cam pics must be 2 days fast.

D272-057
12-07-22 - When we regained consciousness ... RICHARDS moving up the list in the diagnostic imaging department. At the Xiangsi Provincial Peoples' Hospital.

D272-059
chk date - From our 5th floor hospital window. Carp and rotus pond beside the hospital restaurant.

D272-060
chk date - Poor visibility day.

D272-061
chk date - Good visibility day.

D272-062
chk date - Friday inspection day: nightie required. Derek's cot, right. Or, to students of the classics, the bed of Procrustes.

D272-063
12-07-27 - Derek, listless, scared. Reading depressing murder mysteries.

D272-064
12-07-27 - SAYS she feels fine. It was a Friday, hospital cleanup day. Everything had to be in apple pie order. Derek's Chairman Mao cot just visible other side of Merle's bed.

D272-065
chk date - Pomegranates in hospital garden.

D272-066
chk date - AGITPROP: Round up the usual suspects.

D272-067
12-08-03 - David Niven could handle this situation. Or Terry Thomas. (British stiff upper lip stuff.) "Bridge over the River Kwai"; "Those magnificent men in their flying machines."

D272-068
12-08-03 - Our tribute to the hospital staff. We gave them a custom-made banner in tribute to the quality of their care. But they didn't let us out of the hospital that day after all.

D272-069
chk date - MEDICAL mary-jane, surely. Say, Danny ... But this is a no-smoking hospital.

D272-071
chk date - Socrates corrupting the youth of Xian. The hospital resto where we had several excellent meals is in back.

D272-073
12-08-04 - The hospital coughs up 12,000 yuan ... ... which the others had already paid to establish our bona fides. It took over a week and countless emails and phone calls to confirm communication between the hospital and our insurance company. Hospital: But we Emailed the test results yesterday. Insurer: But we've had no word from the hospital yet. The hospital was kind enough to refund our cash advance so we wouldn't have to try and extract it from the insurance company after we got home.

To Xian airport, en route to Beijing.

D272-074
12-08-04 - Taxi.

D272-075
chk date - Last street scenes in Xian.

D272-077
12-09-18 - That reminds me Merle, I think I hafta ... ... before we get on the plane ... You know.

Beijing, Crowne Plaza hotel.

D272-079
chk date - Four days waiting for our flight home. But Diana and Dan buy us many drinks in the lobby bar. Hotel is located near the airport and trendy tract housing.

Beijing, Ecursion: Euro shopping centre.

D272-082
12-08-04 - We head for the top floor.

D272-084
chk date - Buy me! Buy me!

D272-085
chk date -

D272-086
chk date - Shinyness reinvented.

D272-087
chk date - The latest in artificial knee joints.

D272-089
chk date - A cascade of loveliness.

D272-090
chk date - Decorating accessories.

D272-091
chk date - A shop with religious artwork.

D272-092
chk date - Please come into our meditation room.

D272-093
12-08-04 - Get off your knees Derek ... Fetching, but Aphrodite unwears less frilly gear.

Beijing airport.{#1}

D272-094
12-08-07 - We still have to get through security. Goodbye, THANKS, Diana and Danny. Their kids arrive from Canada tomorrow. We hand over unexpended yuan-bucks. Danny deducts these from our outstanding balance.

Over Loonie territory again.{#1}

D274-552
12-08-07 - Mackenzie River.

D274-553
12-08-07 - South shore of Great Bear Lake?

D274-563
12-08-07 - Manitoulin - Tobermory area, looking NE.

D274-564
12-08-07 -

D274-565
12-08-07 -

D274-566
12-08-07 - Manitoulin Is. lower right. We actually passed over Pt. Barrow, Alaska on the way to Pearson Airport.

D274-570
12-08-07 - South shore of Georgian Bay.

D274-571
12-08-07 -

D274-572
12-08-07 -

D274-575
12-08-07 - Niagara Escarpment?

D274-578
12-08-07 - Northwest Metro, CN Tower under wingtip.

D272-096
chk date - Home again, praise Aphrodite.

D272-097
chk date - Be it ever so humble ...

D272-098
chk date - There's no place quite like it. Pics from D279.ptf. Recently "discovered" on cell phone memory card in unexpected location. Delete these lines when editing is complete. Pic numbers have gotten muddled. Part of the confusion is due to combining pictures from 2 cameras. Uncertainty about the correctness of the dates, due to time zone changes. Also the Windows copy and move commands are hard to keep from attaching the current date to files. This has to be restored to the taking date via a special program.

2012 China tour - Exhibition candidates

D273-229a
12-07-13 - Moat, Forbidden City

D273-247A
V13-04-03 - Chairman Mao mausoleum

D279-130A
V13-04-09 - They haven't noticed the rain.

D273-277A
V13-04-03 - Superstructure, Pingyao city wall

D273-281A
V13-04-03 - Alley

D273-282A
V13-04-03 - Emporium

D273-285A
V13-04-03 - Atrium

D273-287A
V13-04-03 - Chairman Mao and other curiosities

D273-294A
V13-04-04 - Curio shoppe

D273-298A
V13-04-04 - Street scene

D273-306A
V13-04-04 - Princesses for a while

D273-309A
V13-04-04 - Roofing tiles, waiting for a roof

D273-310A
V13-04-04 - Weathered portal

D273-311A
V13-04-04 - Blue notes

D273-315A
V13-04-04 - Portal

D273-330A
V13-04-04 - Fast food stop

D273-339AA
V13-04-09 -

D273-342A
V13-04-04 - Waiting for customers

D273-399A
V13-04-04 - Non-tourist cross-street

D273-409A
V13-04-09 - School's out

D273-443A
V13-04-04 - Pingyao portal

D273-444A
V13-04-04 - Pure and simple

D273-451A
V13-04-04 - Pingyao pigeon

D273-461A
V13-04-04 - The brollies of Pingyao

D274-052
12-07-16 - Architectural detail

D274-079A
V13-04-04 - Belvedere

D274-146A
V13-04-04 - Canyon temple

D274-039
12-07-16 - Now those are real SOFFITS.

D274-249A
V13-04-05 - Discreet burning in some shadow areas?

D272-051A
V13-04-04 - Be still my heart.

D274-331A
V13-04-04 - "E" and "D" discuss Xian traffic conds

D274-381A
V13-04-04 - Terra Cotta mercenaries for hire

D274-390A
V13-04-04 - Worlds in collision

D274-410A
V13-04-04 - TC warriors, in situ 14-03-17: Is this show suitable for recording voice clips? Checked today. Seems better for manual browse mode. Not enough comments. Check suitability of 4x6 index card notes. Whole show needs a PhotoShop edit for exposure. Also, many pics compromised due to foggy spots caused by dirty lens on Canon A640. Repair? Entered pics of 4x6 index card notes. Interpolated. Check dates. Places where the time sequence doesn't seem right.

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