Friday, October 31, 2008

More Chinese Experience

Here are two more sets of pictures from our Chinese holiday:

Overnight train ride from Xi'an to Chongking.

The experience of seeing the Terracotta Warriors. (I have already posted close-ups of the TWs here.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another terrible killing in Afghanistan - but we're ok

Three people (including two internationals) were killed in Kabul this morning. Ms S. and I are fine though.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another set of holiday snaps


I remember something I saw on TV once - an old man was forcing his holiday pictures on a younger fellow, who said "Don't you find holiday rather boring?", to which the old man said "Oh yes - other peoples'".

More honeymoon photos

Shanghai to Xi'an

Tiananmen Square

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is gloriously colourful and extremely crowded. Here are our photos.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So many similar Great Walls of China

A dear (young) old friend recently asked why I'd written "Tom now grasps why eveybody's pictures of The Great Wall of China are from essentially the same perspective" on my Facebook page. Great question, in response to my cryptic remark. What I meant was that it turns out that while the G.W.o.C. may have been the world's longest artificial thing, a lot of it has crumbled away and the main part near Beijing is now less than 50km long and most tourists are funneled to just one location.

Here's the entrance to it:

From that entrance point tourists can turn to climb the wall to the left or the right. Our guide, Alan, who was on his 67th mission to the Wall, explained that the easier walking was to the right but the best views of the rest of the wall were to the left. We went left and the rest of the wall looked like this:

And that's the perspective I think I've seen photographed a million times. Although not always with the 'One World, One Dream' Olympic propaganda carefully situated.

I don't mean to seem too cynical about the Wall or China. We had a fantastic time, fell in love with China (our growing set of photographs are based here), and will return.

The Great Wall of China

On September 25 the Great Wall of China received a visit from me and Ms S. Here are our photos.

In this image I am wearing a genuine "Schuhs' Saloon" collectable Tee. This photo earned the September honors on the Schuhs' Saloon T-Shirt Contest site.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pledge Number 5.

Donor number 5 has kindly pledged $0.25 per 100 g towards my 2008 weight loss challenge. Thank you very much, Donor Number 5! You've brought the pledge total to $2.88 per 100 g lost.

Er... While on holiday I 'somehow' gained back some of my earlier lost weight and now I'm only 0.9 Kg below the starting weight. If I lose no more (but I will) we'll have raised $23.63 for the top donor's favorite Afghan charity but I'm sure I can lose the targeted 8.4 Kg before January 1 and with the current pledges that will mean we'll be donating $241.50.

Everybody is welcome to jump on this bandwagon! Here's more information. Please pledge by e-mail - operators are standing by.

First honeymoon pictures

Uh... that would be the first pictures of our recent honeymoon. Not pictures from my first honeymoon. Those were torn up long ago.

In fact Ms S. and I went to China and India for our honeymoon. We took thousands of pictures and it will take a while to sort them out but the first, close-ups of the Terracotta Army near Xi'an are here.

(The army will assemble again soon for more general pictures of the viewing experience).

Some snaps of some wonderful Chinese acrobats are here.

(Unfortunately I let my camera battery die before the intermission.)