LEE A. WOOD
Because of work, I missed my yearly trip to China in 2009 and I only had a short trip in 2010.
Here are some of the pictures I took on a short trip South West of Shanghai.
Normally, when one talks of the `Polar Route’ they refer to a flight over the North Pole. This is the route that goes from Eastern North America to Asia and Central Europe. Because of the curve of the planet this is the shortest route.
However, if one is flying from Canada’s Pacific coast to Asia’s Pacific coast it is shorter to stay South of the Arctic Circle but still shorter to go North before heading South.
If you look at a map, with the North Pole as center, you will see that from Vancouver to Tokyo, or area, that it is almost a straight line. And this is what Air Canada follows.
The straight line, because of the curve of the planet, takes you over the Aleutian Islands, the Bearing Sea, the Eastern end of Russia, and Japan.
When I left Vancouver, late March of this year, the sky was clear and we were able to take many pictures. The warm spring weather was just reaching the North country and the ice was starting to break up.
SIBERIA - RUSSIA
SREDINNYY KHREBET MOUNTAINS
ON POLUOSTROV KAMCHATKA (Kamchatka Peninsula)
Friday Mar. 26
I had been putting off getting my hair cut for several weeks before I left home. I wanted to go to my favourite barber in Shanghai. She only charges $3, about 50 cents to us.
Instead, Serena took me to her hairdresser, where she plays mahjong, and got me a free haircut.
I have never in my life experienced such a fast haircut, including razor trim.
I know, there is nothing there to cut but it usually takes longer to cut than it does to put the apron on.
FIRST STOP - BARBER SHOP
ZHOU PU SHOPPING AREA, SORT OF A MINIATURE NAN JING LU
Sunday Mar. 28
We loaded Jin Di's van and headed West.
East of Hang Zhou, after, about, 2 hours on the freeway, we turned North for an hour and then stopped for lunch in….
Sorry, I can't remember the name of the town. I probably couldn't pronounce it anyway.
A COMMERCIAL REST AREA ALONG THE FREEWAY
FOOD, FUEL, AND REST ROOMS
THIS URINAL DOESN'T SMELL AS NICE AS IT LOOKS
NOT THE FIRST TIME I HAD SEEN A GLASS URINAL
BUT THE FIRST TIME I SAW GLASS SINKS
AMAZING, HOW MANY SIGNS,
IN TOWNS WHERE THEY SELDOM SEE A WHITE PERSON,
ARE REPLICATED IN ENGLISH
Three wheel cars are very common in this area but I have never seen them anywhere else.
LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PARK
A THREE WHEEL CAR
THIS TYPE OF MOTORCYCLE IS VERY COMMON IN CHINA
After lunch we went South, and West, skirting Hang Zhou.
OLD BRICKS ARE USED TO BUILD NEW WALLS
We went up a narrow winding, newly paved, road, through a narrow canyon with a little town of 10 or so houses on every other wide bank of the river.
At the top of the canyon was a long tunnel. Two lanes wide, one in each direction, with a pull out on both sides, in the middle of the tunnel. There was a row of lights along each side. It has to be the longest tunnel I have ever gone through. Much longer than the longest one in the Fraser canyon.
The tunnel ended at a tourist attraction where you climb a narrow trail up a steep hill, and follow the mountain ridge around the canyon and back down, about 2 hours.
No, we didn't go.
Some people, coming down, told us it was a waste of money. The trail was blocked about 1/2 way up the first hill.
THE ROAD TO JUI LONG TAN
THIS DAM IS BEING ENLARGED TO HOLD MORE WATER
A TRUCK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD,
BEING LOADED, BY HAND, WITH BAMBOO POLES
LEAVING THE TUNNEL
THE RETURN PART
OF THE WALK TO THE LAKE
WASHROOMS AND EXIT FROM HILL
ENTRANCE TO HILL CLIMB
NATURALLY, SUCH A PEACEFUL WATER WAY,
LOOKS LIKE A PERFECT SWIMMING HOLE
HARD TO SEE BUT THERE IS A LOOKOUT,
ON THE PEAK, AT THE TOP OF A LONG FLIGHT OF STAIRS
THE TRAIL GOES ACROSS THE RIDGE OF THE MOUNTAIN
AND THEN COMES BACK DOWN TO THIS EXIT
BACK INTO THE LONGEST TUNNEL I HAD EVER BEEN IN
We stopped for the night at Tong Lu, staying at the Ya Yuan Hotel, a typical 3 star Chinese hotel. [(About a minus 1 star in Canadian rating.) (Equivalent to a typical Mexican hotel.)]
YA YUAN HOTEL
ALL IN ONE EFFICIENCY BATHROOM
ON DEMAND HOT WATER TANK
WHAT ALL HOUSEHOLDS SHOULD HAVE
THESE BARGES ARE WAITING TO ENTER THE LOCK
TO GO TO THE LOWER PART OF THE RIVER
THIS BARGE HAS JUST LEFT THE LOCK
FROM THE LOWER PART OF THE RIVER
AARON, BIN, JIN XIAN, JIN MEI
OUR CHARIOT AWAITS
JIN DI - OUR GUIDE, CHAUFFER, AND BROTHER-IN-LAW
MY 2 SISTER-IN-LAWS, AND MY LITTLE GRANDSON, WATCH,
WHILE JIN DI TRIMS AN AFTERNOON TREAT - SUGAR CANE
Monday Mar. 29
We were heading for a town that specializes in clothing, however, because my brother-in-law was using his new GPS, we never found the place.
Did I ever tell you I don't trust GPSs. I have had good success with `MAPS' in my iPhone but even that had me going down a narrow residential street in Edmonton with a tractor trailer rig.
We missed our turn off from the toll way, yes, they have toll freeways in China, thanks to Jin Di's GPS, why anyone would want one of those things I will never understand. Give me a good street map, anytime.
We ended up in the historic town of Wu Zhen but after checking out the entrance fee we didn’t go in. Admission was $120 Yuan.
MAIN ENTRANCE TO WUZHEN - AN OLD TOWN
5 BUS LOADS OF JAPANESE TOURISTS
A STATUARY TRIBUTE
TO THE WAY LAUNDRY HAS BEEN DONE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS
STILL A COMMON SITE IN MANY PLACES IN THE ORIENT
Since the trip to Tong Lu I took a bus, throught a tunnel, from PuDong to PuXi. The tunnel, actually two tunnels, 3 lanes in each direction, curved and curved back, a couple of times, up and down, under the river. (It must be twice as long as the one at Jui Long Tan.
THIS STREET HAS BEEN WIDENED SINCE I WAS HERE 2 YEARS AGO
OVERHEAD, A NEW FREEWAY
Water like everything else in Shanghai is on a meter. Each apartment has a natural gas meter, an electrical meter, and a water meter.
Water, after being used for cooking, or washing; laundry, or dishes, is saved for flushing the toilet.
Note the wooden tub, topped with a wooden wash board. Though the apartment has a washer and dryer, laundry is usually done by hand as electricity and water are expensive.
A NEW STREET WHERE ONLY A FIELD EXISTED 2 YEARS AGO
I find a lot of similarities between Mexico and China.
One of the commonalities has been, broken glass along the top of walls surrounding property
However, the newer walls are now topped with electric wires.
THE BRICK WALL WITH BROKEN GLASS HAS BEEN REPLACED
WITH A NEW FENCE TOPPED WITH ELECTRIC WIRES.
ELECTRIC WIRES ARE NOW USED INSTEAD OF BROKEN GLASS
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