Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Images Reflecting on my 2011 Visit to Zhongguo - the Middle Kingdom that is China

Photo by Chaoyang "Tony" Zhu, at the Nanjing Presidential Palace, where Dr Sun Yat Sen lived during the time of the Republic.  
My guide Tony Zhu, eating a hot pot cooked at our place in Nanjing.  A very welcoming host, I will always remember and honor, introducing me to modern day China.  Xie xie ni, pengyou Chaoyang "Tony" 
Tony supported my using the bullet train from Nanjing to Beijing from the southern capital to the northern capital. 

Photo with another tall guy at the colorfully restored Tian Tian, Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  Featured on one of my favorite postage stamps I collected as a kid.

 Chinese Republic Stamps I collected in the 1950's and 60's, that still fascinate me, in historical perspective.
Part of the history exhibit at the Temple of Heaven. 
Leo Lum at the Polo event featuring Mongolian Horsemen, and four nations, China the UK, Argentina and New Zealand near Yanqing, north of Beijing. 
While staying with my friend Greg, who worked for the Chinese Medicine Publishing house in Beijing, he coached me on how to use the taxi's dadi, in the city. He wrote down the address of a restaurant in NE Beijing where I was to meet my Carleton College Class of 1969, Classmate Leo Lum, who had invited me to travel with him and his friends north of the great wall for the weekend. 
 For more photos and details please check out Here are some flowers, in the Valley of Flowers with the deep blue sky, that is not polluted where our group stopped. 
Catherine and Leo Lum, walking up a structure to look over the valley. They have a vision of creating a retirement village here. 
Here is where we stopped in a village of have a very satisfying traditional country meal. 
View of the Great Wall, where I joined in a celebration dinner after the polo match. 
While on the train back from Yanqing with Liu Jianqiang and his son, Legend, I asked them about places that would recommend as I did not have a complete itinerary.  Jianquiang graciously contacted his travel agent on his cell, and booked a flight from Beijing to Xi'an, where I stayed for 3 days, and then to Kunming and up to Shangri la in the foothills of the Himalaya Mts.
 Xinping is a man I met on line, who was working at a bank, and suggested places to visit.  I choose this restaurant that he fresh fish from Northern China....Here he his smiling at the meal.

While we ordered our food, a tour guide, Daphne from the Netherlands happened in and the staff invited them to talk with me, as I speak German and English, and she did as well.  Fun to be open and spontaneous here in this Xi'an Cafe near the south part of the Old Wall, inside. 
 The ticket I purchased to get onto the old city wall. I then rented a bike (not really for me size) and rode the 45 minute ride on the wall early in the morning before I took the bus to the airport down to Kunming.
 One of the views from the wall overlooking Xi'an City while I rode a rental bike early in the morning.
 And I sign that helped me duck as I walked to the Bell tower from the Drum tower. 
Market place near the old Mosque said to be the beginning place in China for the Silk Road. 

I took a taxi out to the site of the Excavation of the Terra Cotta Soldiers and then the bus back to town.  Xinping wrote down a list in Chinese, so each taxi driver would know my next stop!  

 This is the temple I noticed when walking the stone paths in this small town, once called Zhongdian, later the tourist name of Shangrila. :-)  (over 9000 ft elevation...
 Leaving Kunming for Hong Kong on Dragon Airways, my last flight in China.
My friend Greg in Beijing lined me up to meet Xiujuan, an engineer who was living near the airport in Kunming. She brought in some of her homemade dumplings (, jiǎo zi )
to share at the airport.  She later moved to the Twin Cities to marry a man named Woody. She came over to my apartment and taught me Mah Jong! 

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