Zephyr's Guestbook



6th November 2020

Hongcun
When I saw the pics and proximity to Huangshan I checked my Faces of Ahhui blog to see if it was the small village of Cheng Kan we visited but there were sufficient differences so I conclude it was not. However your blog reminded me of the myriad of intimate experiences and windows on life that can open up when visiting small rural villages in China. Hongcun appears to be one of them.
From Blog: Hongcun
9th November 2020

Cheng Kan
Cheng Kan looks beautiful, too. I was worried that Hongcun would be too touristic since it is so well known, but there were some good glimpses of everyday life.
From Blog: Hongcun
2nd September 2020

the Bridge of Knowing the Fish
This blog brings back such fabulous memories...walking across Lake Kunming and sliding through powder snow on my first visit, with the ice cracking under our feet with sounds like stockwhips cracking on my second...and entering by a back gate with a friend on my third who used to visit it at night with his mates when he was a child...avoiding guard dogs that often caused them to flee. So many sights...different each time...just like your latest visit you describe so well. And thanks for the details of the sites, bridges, temples & hall names...each conjuring ethereal images of the Emperors at business and leisure. Great blog.
2nd September 2020

Poetic Names
Your visit sounds really good. Your friend's experiences sound like great childhood memories to have. I love the beauty of the names in Chinese, they really sum up each place well. If only time travel were a thing, I would love to be able to observe the Emperors going about their lives there.
2nd September 2020
The Marble Boat

Cixi & The Marble Boat
I have only ever seen the Marble Boat in winter from the shore and also standing on frozen Lake Kunming and on each occasion it has had an aura that confounds. Your pics as if it is floating on the lake are so realistic yet due to its weight there is no chance of that!!! I also love the story that Cixi had it built from funds that had been set aside for (was it the Chinese Navy?) and she was derided for being responsible for their defeat by the Anglo/French & others in the Opium Wars. It was probably my first visit to the Summer Palace that resulted in me reading the book "Dragon Lady, The Life & legend of the Last Empress of China." A fabulous read.
2nd September 2020
The Marble Boat

Empress Dowager Cixi
Thank you for the additional information. I would like to revisit in winter. Walking on the frozen lake would be awesome. I shall have to look up the book and add it to my ever expanding reading list. I was also recommended 'Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China' by a friend.
22nd August 2020

Fragrant Hills
This was also on my list of places to visit in Beijing but unlike your colours of autumn visit ours was in heavy snow somewhat limiting walking or trekking. Yet it is one of our special memories that I have included in my CHINA...Travels with a Rickshaw Driver blog. We planned to visit many of the temples as you seemed to have but we ended up spending the whole day at Biyun Si (Biyuan Temple) and a peasant restaurant nearby. I love the way we may visit the same places as others but have different experiences. It seems from your description that you shared the Fragrant Hills with hordes while we with just a handful. Loved your pics. Autumn looks like a beautiful time to visit there. Maybe that's why the Emperors liked it so.
From Blog: Fragrant Hills
23rd August 2020

Fragrant Hills
Winter sounds like a very peaceful time to visit. I will check out your blog. It will be interesting to read about your impressions and experiences. I agree, I love reading about the differences each individual has.
From Blog: Fragrant Hills
15th August 2020
Changchunyuan

Yuanmingyuan...evidence of a Chinese tragedy
This is one of the sites in China that moved Denise & I the most. As I recall in the Opium Wars the European & American armies gave the Chinese a choice that resulted in the Forbidden City being saved and Yuanmingyuan being destroyed. When we were there, just before the Beijing Olympics, there were signs that the Chinese had left the smashed pieces and debris of the marble Grecian and Euro style palaces in their destroyed state as a reminder to the Chinese people of this national tragedy. That is our lasting memory. Was that made evident to you on your visit?
18th August 2020
Changchunyuan

Thank you for the extra info.
I didn't know that there was a choice about which place to save. It's extremely sad. I feel it was evident, but not too overt, if that makes sense.
15th August 2020
Zhengjue Temple

Zhengjue Temple
What a great shot. The image through the arch is sensational.
18th August 2020
Zhengjue Temple

Thank you.
8th August 2020

Confucian Temple
Your blog brings back great memories of Qufu that was a must visit on my self-planned second China trip in 2006. The highlight of the Confucian Temple were the Han Dynasty Stone Tablets found in a couple of locked pavilions in the out of the way ancient kitchen areas off to the right side of the complex. They were pictorials of medical issues, ball games, village life, chariots & ors that were stacked like dominoes and not on display. A defective lock let us slip in. An Emperor made the Confucian Temple a Repository for Han Stone Tablets from all over China centuries ago and they were then forgotten. They were highlights of our China trip. I asked a professor why they were not on display and his reply has stuck with me ever since: "Were they inlaid with gold?" "No." "China has so many treasures...it is hard to choose which to put on display".
9th August 2020

Qufu
Wow, the pictorials sound really interesting. I can see why his response has stuck with you. China has a lot of gems. I keep finding more and more places and things I want to visit. There are so many places well known within China, that aren't known internationally.
22nd July 2020

Transnistria
I've been curious about Transnistria for a little while now. We considered doing this a from Bucharest to Odessa via Transnistria, but ran out of time on that trip. Which company are you travelling with? By the way I'll have to look up Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh! It's kinda cute how all the 'rebel' countries are sticking together :) Cheers, Ren
From Blog: Tiraspol
23rd July 2020

Rebel Countries Club
I like how they stick together, too. I went with Young Pioneer Tours. Now I've visited one, I've got to try and visit the rest :)
From Blog: Tiraspol
15th June 2020

It was interesting to read about your visit to Veliko Tarnovo. I had thought it was a relatively small village, but from your photos I can see it was much larger than I thought. I liked the one wall mural from the Ulitsa General Gurko, but otherwise the town seems a little monochromatic but it looks like winter or early spring while you were there. I guess I might have been expecting to see something more akin to Koprivshtitsa's bright house colors. Thanks for posting these great photos!
From Blog: Veliko Tarnovo
17th June 2020

Thank you!
It was bigger than I imagined, too. It was early spring and the weather wasn't the best while I was there, so it didn't feel as vibrant as Sofia and Plovdiv did.
From Blog: Veliko Tarnovo
13th June 2020
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

Beautiful
This church looks so serene and beautiful despite the weather... or maybe because of the weather :) I liked the sound of the Chernobyl museum too.
14th June 2020
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

The gold shines through the dreary weather. The museum had pretty polarising reviews online, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Glad I found it enjoyable.
7th June 2020

You had me at dumplings!
I can never say no to dumplings and these look especially silky and yum! I love it when dogs in new places adopt us and follow us around, it's always difficult to leave them though :)
9th June 2020

They were really good.
My dumpling addiction is suffering in lockdown. It is hard to leave all the cute animals, if only my backpack were bigger...

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