Monday, March 22, 2010

A great week with my dad

Sorry for the lack of writing, but I was back in the States for a few weeks and my dad has been here for the last week.  It was awesome having him here and sharing what we know about Shanghai with him.  He was a fantastic traveler, and we saw several sights around town that Nick and I hadn't visited yet.  He mastered chopsticks in one meal, towered over the Chinese as we walked all over Shanghai and Beijing, and go to experience our version of China, which is sometimes hard to fully appreciate through the written word or photographs.

At the Martyr's Memorial in a Park in Shanghai

This movie at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum surely brings in the crowds.

The third tallest tower in the world - the Oriental Pearl Tower.  I'm scared of heights, yet I went up anyway.

At 268 feet they have plexiglass that you can walk on.  I couldn't do it (I was grabbing the walls with my fingernails), so these are dad's feet.

We went to Hangzhou for a day.  In addition to be a town with a lot of manufacturing, they have a huge lake and lovely hillside temples.  It was nice to get out of the city of 18 million and instead go to a smaller town of 6 million.  Hangzhou is also a sister city to Indianapolis.

Being a true Hoosier, I couldn't resist taking a photo of the basketball goal on the Lingyin temple grounds.

Then, on to Beijing and true China.  Sure Shanghai is China, but if it weren't for the great number of Chinese people and a different language, you could easily feel like you were in New York instead.  Beijing, however, is traditional and true China, and feels like it from the minute you hit the airport.  We first headed to Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. 

Nothing like a picture with Mao over your shoulder.

A cute sidestreet near the Hutongs (single story residences that are disappearing with development).

And now, for the experience of a lifetime -- the Great Wall.  I've been wanting to climb it since at least college, if not longer.  Best part of the trip to Beijing, possibly best part of any experience so far in China.  And, my camera wasn't on "sepia" mode, there was a terrible duststorm that turned the sky yellow and covered everything with a layer of dirt.

Rules for riding the cable car up to the Great Wall.  See #2.

It was quite chilly, but the winds were really fierce.  Had to buy hats from a vendor on the way up.  I bargained hard and got them for less than $3 each!

The jump for joy on the Great Wall.  Look at the air under those feet!

We climbed all the way up to the top of the tower at the top of the photo.  It was as far as they'd let you go.

A bonus - I got to ride a Mongolian camel!

Then, back to Beijing and the Bird's Nest from the 2008 Olympics.

The Summer Palace

Dancing with the locals at the Temple of Heaven park.

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