14 May

Isn't this a cheery fellow? One of the spirit goats at the Green Goat temple in Chengdu.

Isn’t this a cheery fellow? One of the spirit goats at the Green Goat Temple in Chengdu.

 

This is one of the pagodas in the Green Goat temple.

This is one of the pagodas in the Green Goat temple.

 

This slab was spotted at the Green Goat temple. The detail is amazing.

This slab was spotted at the Green Goat temple. The detail is amazing.

 

The pottery and gardens in the Green Goat temple are highly detailed.

The pottery found in the gardens in the Green Goat temple is highly detailed.

 

This bush was spotted at the Green Goat temple in Chengdu.

This bush was spotted at the Green Goat temple in Chengdu.

 

Lunch in Chengdu- Century eggs. Google them if you want to find out how they are made!

Lunch in Chengdu- Century eggs. Google them if you want to find out how they are made!

 

Note: the pictures below show pandas that are living at the sanctuary that Louise visited. They are being prepared for their introduction into a protected wilderness habitat. The pandas are kept separate from each other as they can cause damage to both the other pandas and their keepers with their powerul claws and teeth, which is why when they are fed in the indoor part of their individual enclosures, they appear behind bars. They have easy access to their outside environments and are clearly loved and well-cared for by the staff at the sanctuary.

 

Louise feeding and recording a new black and white furry friend!

Louise feeding and recording a new black and white furry friend!

 

This young Giant Panda was having fun being fed and posing for the camera.

This young Giant Panda was having fun being fed and posing for the camera.

 

This is an adult Giant Panda. He is the only one at the centre that loves to have a swim! He has a pool in his back yard. After a hot day in Sichuan province, there is nothing better than a quick dip to cool down!

This is an adult Giant Panda. He is the only one at the centre that loves to have a swim! He has a pool in his back yard. After a hot day in Sichuan province, there is nothing better than a quick dip to cool down!

 

This happy chappy decided to show off his bamboo stripping skills!

This happy chappy decided to show off his bamboo stripping skills!

 

This is one of the buildings that form the bridge over the Dujangyan aqueduct. It is quite different in style from other buildings we saw during our travels in China.

This is one of the buildings that form the bridge over the Dujangyan aqueduct. It is quite different in style from other buildings we saw during our travels in China.

 

13 May

This is a close up of the detail of one of the pillars in Tianfu Square...

This is a close up of the detail of one of the pillars in Tianfu Square…

 

This seems to be a watermill of some kind. I stumbled across it whilst being lost in Chengdu...

This seems to be a watermill of some kind. I stumbled across it whilst being lost in Chengdu…

 

This furry feline greeted people as they walked down the road towards Wenshu Monastery.

This furry feline greeted people as they walked down the road towards Wenshu Monastery.

 

This rather unusually poised guardian was protecting the entrance to the Wenshu Monastery.

This rather unusually poised guardian was protecting the entrance to the Wenshu Monastery.

 

These are some stones I saw whilst exploring the gardens of Wenshu Monastery.

These are some stones I saw whilst exploring the gardens of Wenshu Monastery.

 

This is another image taken of the Wenshu Monastery gardens.

This is another image taken of the Wenshu Monastery gardens.

 

Within the Wenshu Monastery there were numerous ponds with fish, turtles and frogs. Here is an example of a carving beside one of these ponds...

Within the Wenshu Monastery there were numerous ponds with fish, turtles and frogs. Here is an example of a carving beside one of these ponds…

 

A pond full of turtles at the Wenshu Monastery.

A pond full of turtles at the Wenshu Monastery.

 

I heard something that sounded a little like cows mooing... turned out it was this little guy...

I heard something that sounded a little like cows mooing… turned out it was this little guy…

 

Chengdu is famed for its tea. I spent a very happy two hours with a cup of bamboo tea.

Chengdu is famed for its tea. I spent a very happy two hours with a cup of bamboo tea.

 

12 May

The sleeper cabin on the train from Xi'an to Chengdu

The sleeper cabin on the train from Xi’an to Chengdu

 

Starting the day's planting in the rice paddy

Starting the day’s planting in the rice paddy

 

Halfway through planting this paddy

Halfway through planting this paddy

 

Tending the rice crops

Tending the rice crops

 

Rice paddies by the side of the railroad

Rice paddies by the side of the railroad

 

The paddies lie between the railroad and the motorway

The paddies lie between the railroad and the motorway

 

While farming takes place on this side of the river, an industrial zone looms in the distance

While farming takes place on this side of the river, an industrial zone looms in the distance

 

An impressive crane zips past the train window

An impressive crane zips past the train window

 

K165_Cherries

Breakfast on board the train (there were more than 5 cherries – before I ate them all)

 

The whole of the hotpot restaurant tried to teach us the madarin for hotpot and its ingredients. And failed miserable

The whole staff of the hotpot restaurant tried to teach us the mandarin for hotpot and its ingredients – sadly we were hopeless at learning!

 

My final glimpse of Chengdu - a revolving panda statue at the airport

My final glimpse of Chengdu – a revolving panda statue at the airport

 

11 May

The bell in Xi'an's Bell Tower - which was rung at dawn to start the day

The bell in Xi’an’s Bell Tower – which was rung at dawn to start the day

 

The flower beds around the Bell Tower were in full bloom

The flower beds around the Bell Tower were in full bloom

 

We passed a stall with calligraphers hard at work creating amazing works of art

We passed a stall with calligraphers hard at work creating amazing works of art

 

Green Tea is used as a flavouring in cakes here as well.

Green Tea is used as a flavouring in cakes here as well.

 

Near the Big Goose Pagoda there are lots of statues. This shows a female folk hero with a distinctive fighting style

Near the Big Goose Pagoda there are lots of statues. This shows a female folk hero with a distinctive fighting style

 

The monk Xuanzang, hero of 'Journey to the West', who retrieved Buddhist scriptures from India with the aid of the Monkey King

The monk Xuanzang, hero of ‘Journey to the West’, who retrieved Buddhist scriptures from India with the aid of the Monkey King

 

The seven storey tall Big Goose Pagoda south of Xi'an city centre

The seven storey tall Big Goose Pagoda south of Xi’an city centre

 

The view north to Xi'an city centre from the top of Big Goose Pagoda

The view north to Xi’an city centre from the top of Big Goose Pagoda

 

The Treasure God at the BIg Goose Pagoda has a thing for gold

The Treasure God at the BIg Goose Pagoda has a thing for gold

 

Every few feet, another small detail catches your eye

Every few feet, another small detail catches your eye

 

An elephant stool in the grounds of the Big Goose temple complex

An elephant stool in the grounds of the Big Goose temple complex

 

10 May

Stalls on the way in to the Terracotta Warriors Museum

Stalls on the way in to the Terracotta Warriors Museum

 

A fountain topped by rearing horses greets you as you walk along the path to the Museum

A fountain topped by rearing horses greets you as you walk along the path to the Museum

 

Xi'an_Terracotta_Immense

The hall containing pit 1 is just massive

Terracotta Warriors stand in ranks in the trenches of the pit

Terracotta Warriors stand in ranks in the trenches of the pit

 

These horeses would have been rigged with harnesses to a chariot, but the lerather and wood have long since decayed away

These horeses would have been rigged with harnesses to a chariot, but the leather and wood have long since decayed away

 

We passed a power station while on the bus, just outside Xi'an

We passed a power station while on the bus, just outside Xi’an

 

Welcome to a huge shopping mall in Xi'an

Welcome to a huge shopping mall in Xi’an

 

Xi'an_Shopping_Mall

As with Western malls, you could almost be anywhere

A wedding shop in downtown Xi'an

A wedding shop in downtown Xi’an

 

9 May

The city walls are massive - with the contrast to the high rise development across the city

The Xi’an city walls are massive – with the contrast to the high rise development across the city

 

The City Guard are still active around here...

The City Guard are still active around here…

 

Travel in style around the walls on a bicycle made for two

Travel in style around the walls on a bicycle made for two

 

The banks have some fearsome guardians. This lion looks a bit rabid...

The banks have some fearsome guardians. This lion looks a bit rabid…

 

While this guardian looks a bit more worried to me.

While this guardian looks a bit happier to me.

 

Chess is a serious pursuit on the streets of Ki'an

Chess is a serious pursuit on the streets of Xi’an

 

Xi'an_Drum_Tower

 

The Great Mosque is very different to those in the UK or Istanbul

The Great Mosque is very different to those in the UK or Istanbul

 

Kebabs cook in the streets behind the mosque

Kebabs are on sale on the streets behind the mosque

 

A bit further along, a mallet pounds a confection made of nuts

A bit further along, a mallet pounds a confection made of nuts

 

This dog has got to have been trained to pose for the camera

This dog has got to have been trained to pose for the camera

 

The bell tower is lit up at night in competition with the nearby high street shops

The bell tower is lit up at night in competition with the nearby high street shops

 

8 May

The run of sleeper cabins on the train to Xi'an

The run of sleeper cabins on the train to Xi’an

 

The buffet car on the train - breakfast was available, but we settled on cups of tea

The buffet car on the train – breakfast was available, but we settled on cups of tea

 

A slightly dilapidated building flies past the train window

A slightly dilapidated building flies past the train window

 

Xi'an - a city where the old meets the new comfortably

Xi’an – a city where the old meets the new comfortably

 

7 May

 

Starting off along the Great Wall

Starting off along the Great Wall

 

There are a lot of steps involved

There are a lot of steps involved

 

The views are amazing, even through the mist

The views are amazing, even through the mist

 

Hard at work on the Great Wall

Hard at work on the Great Wall

 

Looking up at a watchtower

Looking up at a watchtower

 

The Great Wall is a very popular place to visit

The Great Wall is a very popular place to visit

 

A detail caught my eye as we passed a modern wall beside the Great Wall

A detail caught my eye as we passed a modern wall beside the Great Wall

 

Burning Incense at the Yonghe Gong Tibetan Lama Temple

Burning Incense at the Yonghe Gong Tibetan Lama Temple

 

A prayer wheel - by spinning it, you are taken to be reciting a mantra or prayer over and over again

A prayer wheel – by spinning it, you are taken to be reciting a mantra or prayer over and over again

 

Walking through the Temple Complex offers some amazing sights

Walking through the Temple Complex offers some amazing sights

 

It's worth looking up too

It’s worth looking up too

 

We finally managed to find Simon's Teahouse (see Memories)

We finally managed to find Simon’s Teahouse (see Memories)

 

A nice cup of tea

A welcome ‘cup’ of tea

 

The queue for our sleeper train to Xi'an

The queue for our sleeper train to Xi’an

 

6 May

 

All things have to move slowly and quietly in the Diplomatic Quarter

All things have to move slowly and quietly in the Diplomatic Quarter

 

The impressive main building at the Central Conservatory of Music

The impressive main building at the Central Conservatory of Music

 

Louise lecturing at the Conservatory, interpretation by Maggie

Louise lecturing at the Conservatory, interpretation by Maggie

 

Andy lecturing at the Conservaory, with Maggie interpreting again

Andy lecturing at the Conservaory, with Maggie interpreting again

 

Bihe and Maggie, both of whom have been extremely helpful

Bihe and Maggie, both of whom have been extremely helpful

 

The portico leading up to the main building. Sadky, we didn't see it at night, it's covered in lightbulbs

The portico leading up to the main building. Sadly, we didn’t see it at night, it’s covered in lightbulbs

 

The beauty of music is definitely appreciated at the Conservatory

The beauty of music is definitely appreciated at the Conservatory

 

The sun sets as we wait for the flag lowering ceremony

The sun sets as we wait for the flag lowering ceremony

 

5 May

 

On of the first sights and sounds we encountered on our way to the Temple of Heaven were musicians - often competing witn each other

On of the first sights and sounds we encountered on our way to the Temple of Heaven were musicians – often competing witn each other

 

Ow!

Ow!

 

Everyone in the park seems extremely fit

Everyone in the park seems extremely fit

 

The archways are typically Chinese in design

The archways are typically Chinese in design

 

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - is just immense. It's made of wood, without any nails

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – is just immense. It’s made of wood, without any nails

 

The Altar Stone at the Temple of Heaven - said to mark the very middle of the Middle Kingdom

The Altar Stone at the Temple of Heaven – said to mark the very middle of the Middle Kingdom

 

Forbidden_City_Entry

On our way in to the Forbidden City at Tian’anmen

One of the massive Halls you pass through as you move further in to the City

One of the massive Halls you pass through as you move further in to the City

 

The turtles seem friendly, if a little large

The turtles seem friendly, if a little large

 

An understated little corner in the Forbidden City

An understated corner in the Forbidden City

 

It wasn't until I looked closely at this photograph that I noticed the dragon seems to be holding some flowers in his claw - maybe that's why he looks so happy

It wasn’t until I looked closely at this photograph that I noticed the dragon seems to be holding some flowers in his claw – maybe that’s why he looks so happy

 

An internal canal snakes away into the distance

An internal canal snakes away into the distance

 

A larger canal runs along the outside of the Forbidden City

A larger canal runs along the outside of the Forbidden City

 

A parting glimpse of the Forbidden City

A parting glimpse of the Forbidden City

 

4 May

 

The Summer Palace is constantly watched over by faithful guardians

The Summer Palace is constantly watched over by faithful guardians

 

The best way to travel over the lake at the Summer Palace

The best way to travel over the lake at the Summer Palace

 

The buildings at the Summer Palace are stunning

The buildings at the Summer Palace are stunning

 

Although a bit bashed, the door plate is still opulent

Although a bit bashed, the door plate is still opulent

 

Baby dogs don't argue with their mothers...

Baby dogs don’t argue with their mothers…

 

For some reason, this drainage hole at the Summer Palace made me smile

For some reason, this drainage hole at the Summer Palace made me smile

 

Even soldiers need a break on a long hot day

Even soldiers need a break on a long hot day

 

It took a bit of climbing, but the views from the top of one of the temples included this

It took a bit of climbing, but the views from the top of one of the temples included this

 

We crossed over this canal just as we were leaving the Summer Palace, and wished we had more time to explore it fully

We crossed over this canal just as we were leaving the Summer Palace, and wished we had more time to explore it fully

 

The Rabbit God! Seen near the Confucius Temple

The Rabbit God! Seen near the Confucius Temple

 

Commercial Beijing - a large bookshop in Wanfujing Dajie

Commercial Beijing – a large bookshop in Wanfujing Dajie

 

A bustling Night Market just off Wanfujing Dajie

A bustling Night Market just off Wanfujing Dajie

He's got a lovely bunch of coconuts

He’s got a lovely bunch of coconuts

 

 

3 May

 

The crowds were already gathered in Tian'anmen Square when we arrived

The crowds were already gathered in Tian’anmen Square when we arrived

A soldier strides towards his duty post, guarding the flag

A soldier strides towards his duty post, guarding the flag

 

Mao Zedong watches over most of the Universities in Beijing

Mao Zedong watches over most of the Universities in Beijing

 

There are various symbols representing science and technology scattered around the USTB campus

There are various symbols representing science and technology scattered around the USTB campus

 

Fitness and health are very important here - every student has to take at least one class each year in a sport

Fitness and health are very important here – every student has to take at least one class each year in a sport

 

USTB_Unreliable_Wall

But the walls are a bit unreliable, it seems…

 

 

2 May

 

Beijing_Airport_Arrival

Arrival at Beijing

 

We found a bridge at the end of our street while wandering around

We found a bridge at the end of our street while wandering around

 

Hutong_Lantern_Detail

Lanterns along the Hutong

Bikes and Bottles

Bikes and Bottles

 

The eaves of a house just down the lane from our hotel

The eaves of a house just down the lane from our hotel

 

Louise makes a new friend

Louise makes a new friend

 

 

 

1 May

 

Inflight TaiChi

T’ai Chi in the air – getting rid of the kinks, ready for landing.

30 April

 

A spire caught my eye while walking across campus

A spire caught my eye while walking across campus

 

The way in to the University (and out again)

 

A swan floating by serenely on the canal

A swan floating by serenely on the canal

 

The swan notices the camera and decides to spruce itself up

 

Louise checks that her microphone can pick up traffic noise

 

We disturb John Young hard at work composing in the studio

We disturb John Young hard at work composing in the studio

 

Andy and Louise are ready to go

Andy and Louise are ready to go

 

 

 

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