Before flying back to Canada, I had a few days in Beijing staying in a lovely small courtyard hotel in the Drum and Bell district again. Because of a strong rain the night before, the air was actually quite pleasant and the sky was blue that morning!
The hutongs (the traditional alleys of Beijing) have their own busy-ness but it is not like the regular traffic jams of the larger streets. Everything is at a smaller scale – even the vehicles.
…and after a flight of 12 hours and one night’s sleep, the seemingly surreal beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia as we cruised slowly out of the harbour. (It is great to have a friend with a boat!)
Although the winds were too light at this point to actually sail, the day was beautiful and enjoying the scenery from the shade cast by the sail cover was just about perfect… the word “awesome” got slightly but justifiably overused during these few days 🙂
Sunset the first evening after managing to prepare a pretty delicious meal in the galley – or maybe sailing makes you hungry 😉
Pirates Cove Marine Provincial Park had some nice hiking around and through the point of an island.
Fantastical rock forms…
Fascinating tidal pools… the very first one I saw had the most diverse inhabitants.
There she is, still afloat!
A beautiful day in Nanaimo…
Strong winds made for a quick trip back to Vancouver and sadly the end of an amazing trip.
I just got back from my vacation last week. It’s the first time in quite a while that I have gone very far afield so I decided to share a few photos here.
I arrived in Beijing but just stayed long enough to enjoy one evening in a busy hutong and then meet some friends the next morning as they were finishing their China trip before I headed off by train to Zhengzhou.
Zhengzhou is not my favourite place in China. It is a useful travel hub with lot of high speed trains coming and going to various destinations. However even this less than lovely city manages to have a large and leafy park serving as much needed lungs for the populace. It was very well used anytime I visited it from very early morning to late evening.
From Zhengzhou it is a short bus ride to Shaolin Temple – famous both for kung fu and for being the site where Buddhism entered China. Although crawling with tourists even more than when I was there 15 years ago, one can still get glimpses back in time… blinkers required!
If you’re in the mood, you can try out some exercises as illustrated right on the architecture!
After doubling back to that hub Zhengzhou, we went to Xi’an. Last time I was in China it seemed too far but now the high speed train takes you there in just 3 hours – 300 km per hour!! The terracotta warriors were fascinating, impressive and also appalling when you consider the megalomaniacal mind behind the whole thing.
And for the end of this segment one of my favourite shots… perfect horses ready for parade in any era – very life-like!
I will continue with the next leg of the trip soon!