Sunday, October 9, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things....

Paul and I just got back from a few days at Shan Hai Guan.  Shan Hai Guan is where the Great Wall goes into the sea.  The old city has a huge wall that is actually part of the Great Wall  and you can also take a taxi out of town to climb part of the Great Wall.
Even though Shan Hai Guan is  a historically significant place, it's a a place that few foreigners come to. Most go to a resort beach town a few kilometers down the coast.  So it's affordable and it was really fun and interesting.  The people were super friendly.  As we were walking through the city looking for a bank, we asked an older man on a motor scooter where the bank was.  He took us all the way to the bank and then introduced us to the security guard as his "American friends" and told us to ask the security guard if we needed anything.  The security guard then stood with us to make sure we got the money we needed from the ATM.  Really nice!
Before I post the Great Wall pictures and old city pictures, I though I'd post a few of the interesting things that we saw.  China continues to captivate us in so many ways.  Sometimes it feels like one big picture opportunity.
So...the fun stuff- random pictures of some of the things we saw.

Guard dog on a roof in the hutong.

Paddle boats on a lake- a whale, a spaceshop and something else.  That is part of the old city gate in the background and the Great wall goes up the ridge of that mountain.  If you look closely, you can see it.

As we were walking along in the hutong, we heard beautiful music.  We looked in the window and the people gestured for us to come in.  If you look closely, you can see that they are all playing traditional Chinese music-it was a moment of pure magic for me!  Just lovely folk music.

Cute kids outside an ice cream shop.

View out of our hotel room in the morning.

If you going to shout out "Hello, hello" to are going to get your picture taken.  The red scarves mean they are part of the Young Pioneers-the youth program for the Communist Party.

As we got off the train in Shenyang, we saw this older Buddhist monk and several younger monks.  They smiled and were friendly.  As we exited the train station, I heard the older monk say "Wai guo ren" (foreigner).  It's pretty common to hear people say this as we pass but it cracked me up to hear it from a monk.


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