China 2001

Highlights of the first two slide magazines, more to follow

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As a result of being a full-time student again I had an enormously long summer holiday this year and so decided to make use of it by going to China for a month. While I was there I took about 650 slides and 5.5 hours of video. I'd just bought myself a slide scanner and started scanning the slides. The image quality isn't that good as I'd like because it was a fairly cheap scanner. As usual click the images to see a larger version.

First stop after we'd checked into the hotel in Beijing, the temple of heaven, you'll be seeing more of this in a few years time as it's the symbol of the Beijing 2008 olympics.

The Forbidden City, actually a vast palace complex used by the last Imperial dynasty. This is the outside and inside of one of the 'Harmonies', a series of thee halls at the centre of the palace that were used for meeting dignitaries and other ceremonial occasions.

The Summer Palace, a vast garden/park on the edge of Beijing. Both the hill and lake in the picture are man made, the former being constructed with what was dug out of the latter.

No visit to Beijing would be complete without a trip up to the Great Wall, so here it is. I walked about 2km of it which is about 1/3000 of the total, it
really is quite big.

Next stop was Xian, one of many former capitals and one with a complete Ming city wall. For a small fee you can climb up onto the wall and once up there you can walk right round them, I didn't have that much time so I only did the bit you can see in the picture. At night the walls are illuminated and the area outside this gate seems to be a popular meeting place.

A short drive outside Xian is the Terracotta Army. They were made and buried nearly two and a half thousand years ago and only rediscovered in the mid seventies by a local digging a well. There are three pits although this is by far the largest.

One of our evening meals was a 'Dumpling Banquet', it wasn't my favourite meal in China but these penguins on an iceberg were quite clever. The penguins are dumplings and the iceberg meringue.

The Longmen Grottos are a series of Buddhist shrines cut into a cliff face overlooking a river. The pattern on the left hand wall in the first photo is thousands of tiny Buddhas, the right hand photo shows the largest Buddhas there.

Our local guide for Louyang and the Longmen Grottos took us to see the village where he was brought up and where his family still live. Many of the residents live in underground houses, small tunnels cut into the very hard earth. Pretty basic but they do maintain a pleasant temperature in both summer winter. The other two photos are two of his relatives and the village primary school.

On the way from Louyang to Kaifeng we stopped to look at Shaolin temple, birthplace of Kung Fu.

The Iron Pagoda in Kaifeng is actually built of brick, however it's covered in dark red glazed tiles which resemble rusty iron from a distance. The bottom two metres are, along with the bottom two metres of the rest of Kaifeng's history buried under the silt left by a succession of floods.

We left Kaifeng on an overnight train, this is the first class waitingroom.

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Copyright © 2001 David Reid