Posts Tagged tourism

Terracotta warriors and Xian city

The terracotta warriors in Xian was discovered in 1974 by a farmer, digging a well on his land. The site was opened to visitors in 1976 and declared a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 1987.  Current estimates are that the three pits contain about 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses.

We were really fortunate to be able to visit this amazing site. Being in the presence of 2,200 year old history is an experience that will stay with me forever.

Besides the terracotta warriors, we also visited the musical fountains, the Wild Goose Pagoda Tower, Xian’s museum and the Muslim Quarter.

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A lion and I.

(Hold thumbs, I’ve got access again! Although that is a mixed blessing because the past 2 weeks without all the internet distractions were kinda cool. Here is a sample of something I wrote during that time.)

A lion and I

I remember standing in line to hold the baby lion. Some parents dragged their children because, “You nagged for it, now we are doing it!”

I dragged my mother.

Some of the children cried. They didn’t want to have their photos taken with the lion. “What if it bites me?” they asked.

I wanted to yell at them to get out of the line so I could get there faster.

Then it was my turn. It was heavier than our cat at home. I held it and cuddled it and kissed its head. It smelled like the sun. Its fur was soft and its tummy was warm and it sat quite still while I talked to it.

I just wanted to take the lion home.

Then my time was finished and I cried when they took the lion away.

(Update – January 2012)

This is me, 30-something years later, experiencing those same emotions while visiting the Sondela Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photography at Houhai Lake, Beijing

Quote for the day:  “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” - Groucho Marx

Song for the day: Complicated – Bon Jovi

On Sunday, a group of us went on a photography walk-about with the talented Lukas Birk. The idea was to pick a theme and spend 6 hours walking around Houhai Lake, photographing whatever fits your theme. We would practise aperture and shutter speed settings (yes, I still don’t know what I’m doing).

Houhai Lake is situated in central Beijing and is surrounded by little restaurants, bars and old hutongs. There are a lot of renovations going on in the area and I understand the need for it as many of the buildings are literally falling apart. However, even though the same color tiles and building styles are used, the shiny newness of completed structures just didn’t compete with the weathered age of their neighbours.

(Why am I suddenly thinking about plastic surgery?)

I was very determined to stick to my theme of  ‘colors and textures’, but was quickly distracted by the many great opportunities for photos, especially portraits. Not only that, but I could also see a little story behind each and every photo. I would walk around, making up stories and trying to remember it, so I could write it down when I got home.

No, I am not mad (she says while the bunny is boiling …).

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