After finally purchasing video software, I’ve assembled a short film showcasing as much of the trip as I could. While this still doesn’t begin to capture the whole experience, the film plus this blog gives a pretty detailed account of what I was up to this summer.
Sitting at home two months after arriving, I still think of my adventure in China. It seems like a surreal dream at this point and I can’t believe some of the things I had the chance to do while I was there. What a ride.
Some of the time when I find myself thinking about the Yangtze River boat cruise or standing on the Great Wall, I chuckle to myself and shake my head thinking, “man, that was larger than life.” All of my stories haven’t been told yet, but a story doesn’t do it justice anyway.
Hopefully some day I’ll have another adventure which is so unbelievably incredible that I won’t believe it actually happened when I return.
I bet I will.
Clips from the Bullet Train
There you have it folks, three months later and 15 pounds lighter, I’m back home. Here’s some observations I’ve made so far.
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On The Way Home
After seeing two sunsets in one day due to the time difference, I landed in Minneapolis at around 6:00am on Wednesday morning. I watched four movies on the international flight and only slept for a couple of hours. Guangzhou was stormy as predicted but LA was nice and cool. After the airport I went to Perkins with my family for the first western breakfast I’d have since leaving.
Wow. That feels weird to finally say but I’m getting really excited.
China Southern - 3106
Beijing —> Guangzhou
China Southern - 327
Guangzhou —> Los Angeles
China Southern: 1092
Los Angeles —> Minneapolis
…More pictures from Beijing and Xi’an and final thoughts to come once I’m back in the US!
Hopefully this doesn’t affect anything… We’ll see.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
What a great last day, the pictures speak for how incredible it was. Very busy, but after passing the cable car there was hardly anyone for at least an hour!
Compared to New York, the air quality in Beijing today is frightening. It looks foggy outside, but it’s not fog, it’s dirty particulate matter. Even though a thunderstorm rolled through early this morning it seems to have had no effect on improving the air.
The Color Run: Beijing
We met some new friends on the subway to the Color Run today and had a great time before and after the “race.” I finished the race on Brandan’s shoulders, a massive 6’8” Englishman. It was a great day and tons of fun was had by everyone.
This is a snack street/ department store area with tons of food ranging from scorpion to dumplings (my favorite). The girls went shopping so Joe and I did a mini pub crawl to sample the local brews. Surprisingly we found a “black” beer, something which barely exists here.
This is where I am for probably 20% of the day. The subway system is super cheap and super convenient! I’ve only ran into the “wall” or “sardine can” experience a couple of times, usually the crowds are manageable.
What a cool place! Although it was ridiculously crowded, the feel of the park was a big party. I was a huge fan of the 2008 Games and being able to visit where it all happened was awesome.
National Flag Raising & The Temple of Heaven
My day started dark and early at 4:15 to make it to the National Flag Raising at Tiananmen by 5:20. To my surprise, there were thousands of people there. I think it was more crowded than yesterday. We next took the subway south to the Temple of Heaven to enjoy the beautiful park, blue skies, and people. We tried to guess where foreigners were from, sometimes making up stories of their lives.
Tiananmen & The Forbidden City
Today was my first day in Beijing and I have to say, I’m impressed. It rained last night so pollution was non-existent and skies were lovely and blue. The Forbidden City was massive and seeing the painting of Chairman Mao was definitely impressive. After hearing about nasty air, today was surprisingly a great day. I haven’t seen skies this blue for a long time.
Bullets Don’t Fly in the Rain
Our bullet train ride today was lengthened due to rain (6 hour trip turned into a 9 hour trip, apparently it’s unsafe go to 190 mph on wet rails. We arrived at our hostel just now, and it’s looking like a nice place so far. More updates from the capital to come!
The Muslim Quarter
Nighttime is daytime at the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an. Imagine a state fair on a few streets without pork or beer, but equally delicious food for 1/4 of the price!