Thursday, June 7, 2007

THE FORBIDDEN CITY

I just returned from a two week vacation to China with my fiance Echo, who is Chinese, and that was great for many reasons, but especuially the fact that since she grew up there she speaks Chinese fluently--so I had a great Interpeter. I have always wanted to travel to Asia, especially China and Japan and this trip was really a really intense experience on many levels, especially visually for me. I bought a few extra flash cards for my Canon Powershot 80 so I'd have enough room to take a lot of pictures. I took about 3 gigs worth.

I decide that maybe the best way to show my friends and family, and those others who might be interested all the pictures and to talk about my experience was to "Blog it". So that's what I'm going to do as I have time, maybe 2 times a week or so, I'll upload some of the pics I took and give some discription of my trip. I guess it will be like an internetr version of the old Geroge Perot travel show that ran in Detroit when I was a kid. Let me say briefly that China is really a fantastic place, old mixing with the new, a culture on the move, a real contrast in many ways between what I imagined it might be and what it really is. There are always lots of people where ever you go and they are always on the move. It seemed that where ever Echo and I went there was what I called "eternal construction". Some of it of course because of the 2008 Olympics, especially in Beijing, but even in the countryside we saw an amazing amount of rebuilding and new construction happening. It's clear China is on the move and it's economy growing like crazy.

These first few shots are from the Forbidden City, a place that was high on my list of places to see on our trip. We missed it the first day we went because it closes about 4PM. I guess because it's so old there are not many lights there so it would probably be dangerous to have so many tourists wandering about. I was both amazed by the Forbidden City and dissapointed in some respects, mainly in how much of a tourist trap it was and how many spots had kiosks and stores insdie selling trinkets, t-shirts etc. It gave it a weird Theme Park aspect to it and I think to an extent, cheapens it. The parts I liked best were some of the interior courtyards and smaller little hidden places where there were few people and no modern things like ice cream stands. Echo and I stopped at a few of these spots and rested. I could really feel like I was back hundreds of years in time, and in one spot I even had a very strong feeling of Deja Vu, like I had spent alot of time in this spot. Who knows, maybe in a past life I did? The pic I snapped of the guy sleeping also makes me think about that, maybe this guys felt the same way, maybe he was sleeping at his old post from a previous life?



5 comments:

Crink said...

Glad you're doing this, Mike. Thanks for the link. Lovely pix. Looking fwd to more.
JH

Kelly said...

Great photos! I'm glad you guys had such a great time. I'm also glad that you're back (selfish, I know). I'd really like to go someday.

Mike M said...

Crink, thanks, it was a great trip, I have probably years worth of photos snapped in 2 weeks!

Mike M said...

Kelly, in a way I'm glad to be back as well, it was a great trip though. There are good things about going away from your regular life, hell, even regular culture, then coming back and remembering where you just went. Like remembering a great meal you had, that little tickle of wanting to have that taste again.

I say go! Go to China, you'd shoot a billion pics. I think i missed more pics than I could take, I saw so many things I wanted to shoot, but the Canon is too slow sometimes. That's it's big drawback, the slow shutter speed, so I'd have to try and time stuff, especially when riding or I'd snap and miss it.

Joyce said...

Wonderful pictures Mike, I am so happy that you and Echo had a great time. I feel like I was
with you two reading your blog.