Archive for the ‘Abraham’ Category

Guilin

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Hi All

Today we saw the China we used to see on many pictures: a countryside with rice terraces, people with round straw chinese hats working on those fields, all that on a background of green hills with bamboo plantations on them. Very picturesque, very pastoral. That was in a typical village out of Guilin. We also visited a local school in that village. It is far from any school we know, but the kids (7-12 I think) were clean, polite and wrote in their little notebooks real Chinese! I have pictures. (more…)

Kunming 2

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Hi All
Yesterday we arrived to Kunming, Capital of Yunnan Province, 5 Million people. Going from the airport we noticed a lot of motorcycles standing on the side of the road, with the drivers. It appears that those are motor-taxis. They are cheaper then regular taxis and can get faster in the traffic jams which plague the city (and actually all the other big cities in china).
Then we were stopped by the police. They were checking whether the bus is not overloaded (to many passangers or luggage. It was OK. (more…)

Guest Blogger – My Dad

Monday, May 7th, 2007

My parents are traveling in China now. Dad is sending updates describing their amazing journey. Look for blog posts by Abraham about China.

Kunming

Monday, May 7th, 2007

have only a few minutes before leaving hotel.
now in Kunming, visited stone forest, AMAZING.
heading towards the west hills of kunmin and then to Guilin (flight)
forward this to others.
bye, kisses,
dad

Tibet 2

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Today is an all Tibetian day. The city of Shangrila (Zhiongiang) sits at the elevation of 3450 meters.
the highest point of today’s escapades was 3700 meters. Around us we can see the mountain tips of the eastern part of Himalaya with snowcaps on top. We went to see the highest lake in the Yunnan Region, elevation 3600 m. (remember lake Tahoe?), the lake Bita (Alon in hebrew) named so because of the trees surrounding it. At this hight in Europe or the States the mountains are bare, but here everything is green and many forests. Again we had to walk on a kind of boardwalk about 3 km, and at that altitude it is quite an achievemnt. Rachel did quite well. We saw a lot of chinese people there – remember they have a week off in honour of the May 1st labour day. Many of them walking with oxygen masks. The air was thin, but pure and with perfect visibility. Since our arrival to Beijing and up to Xian the visibility was quite poor.
Our local guide is a Tibetian women of 24, Dorma is her Chinglish name. Her real name is quite complicated. When they enter studies of tourism and the English language, they get an english name. She is single, living in Shangri La in a rented room withouth toilets and bath. She is taking a shower once a week in a public place. When some of us invited her to take a shower in the hotel, she refused explaining that this is customary here. Her parents are farmers living 600 km away, deep in Tibet. She is one of 5 children. She is nice and speaks not so fluent Chinglish (Chinese English).
Later we visited a Tibetian Temple, a replica of the big one in Lhassa. quite impressive, colorfull with Tibetian buddhas everywhere. Situated on a top of a hill, it has a very impressive view, but the approach quite difficult. Again Rachel did not disappoint and saw all the buddhas, as most of the group (but not all).
Everywhere one can feel the preparations for the Olympic year. The road to the temple is being reconstructed, The entrance to the lake reserve is being built from scratch, a lot of chinese working everywhere to get ready on time.
The evening we spent dancing in the main square along with a million or so chinese and in a tea house sipping some butter tea with cookies (chinese of course).
Tomorrow early we fly to Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan, elevation 2000.
Goodnight
Abraham

Tibet

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

Hello all
This evening we arrived to Ziongjang (Shangri-la) which geographically and historically belongs to Tibet, but now it is a part of the Yunan province. The town is situated at around 3000 meters above sea level. In the hotel room in the mini bar they have Oxygen bottles! We went to the main square of the old city and found thousands of chinese poeple of all ages sexes and appearances (including folk dresses) dancing in one big circle with many other concentric ones, some kind of chinese folk dances. We joined of course, including Mom, Varda and Elisheva.
This morning we left Lijiang, this beautiful little town of 1 million people, with its old town and picturesque little narrow streets. We rode along the Yangtse river. At some point there is a path of 1.5 kilometers leading to some viewpoints, where the river runs fast with many rapids. Mom did the whole trip by foot, there and back! Kol Hakavod. Then we visited a typical Tibetian Village and a house. Little children met us at the entry murmuring something that appeared to be: one yuan. Their faces are typical mongolian type, they are dirty and with snotty noses. Most of the houses are built of wood and tit. The one we entered was an all wooden one and quite nice, with a lot of electrical appliances. To enter it you have to climb steep wooden stairs, one floor up (the first floor is occupied by their animal stock – mostly pigs, but they have cows and yaks). Over there a big room with wood stove, Mao`s picture, and dried meat hanging from the ceiling. the man of the house was working in the yard, preparing wooden blocks for his house. A few of the neighbours little kids escorted us inside.
After leaving Lijiang we lost connection thru Cellcom. We are staying here (Ziongjang) for 2 nights and then flying to Kunming, a big City in the south. I hope there our connection will resume.
In Ziongjang (I may be misspelling the name, but Mom is sleeping and I cannot take a look into the map or papers) we are in the Holy Palace hotel tel (86 887) xxx xxxx room xxxx. I hope to write you tomorrow as well since in this hotel the internet bussines center is open 24 hours. In the previous ones we arrived to the hotels after closing times (22:00).
Hemi, How is your trip going on. Where are you now?
Regards and kisses
Abraham
p.s.
1. Our group is quite good, with very little exceptions. The ages are from mid forties to at least one 74 year old. But he is in no worse shape then i am, I found it out when we both hurried up from the bank of the Yellow river in ChonQuing, to the upper boardwalk, on stairs and he jept up with me!
2. The group started to learn a Polish song the melody of which we danced in the main square in Chongquing. I am the teacher and the our guide is very entusiasting about it.

Good night

Chongqing

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Hi dear children
We continue to have fun thru hard leg work.
Yesterday we visited the muslim quarter in Xian and their Minaret, which is totally different from the ones we know, it is more like a pagoda.
They have inscripts in arabic but the letters are caligraphed in chinese style. The muslim quarter has an endless market with all kind of pichevkes. I bought a bike “paamon” and a compass for pennies. We then went to a closeby Mall, with prices competing with “Kikar Hamdina”. We bought Chinese children books with chinese, english and phonetic spelling.
Then we had a dinner in a (chinese, how not) restaurant/theater, buffet style, including sushi and dumplings. So far we haven’t been using much of the food we brought for mom because she gets reasonable vegetarian food.
Next, an hour flight to Chongqing, the beginning of the southern part of china. It’s a city of more then 30 million poeple, on the banks of the Yangtse river. On the outskirts we saw very primitive living of the very basic agriculture and then next a city of thousands of skyscrapers Beijing style. We strolled the banks of the river, danced on a square with thousands of chinese people and now Mom is probably deep in …

Greetings from China

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

It’s our 4th day in China. The first 2.5 days we spent in Beijing which is stepping on the footsteps of Shanghai: A fast growing modern City with a lot of sky scrapers, highways, bridges, traffic jams and not so much bycicles. The old quarters are being wiped out, every bit of material (like bricks, iron etc.) are being recycled and new apartment hirisers are placed instead in short time. Our guide, Yehuda Shafrir, is himself surprised of the pace. We saw the New Olympic stadium in the last stages of building (from the highway) and it seems amazing, apart of the technological wonders according to Yehuda. We visited all the important sites like the summer palace, Tien an men square, the forbidden city and climbed the “Givat hapecham”. Mom climbed it very well to my big surprise. Maybe our morning walks contributed to that. Before leaving the Capital we went to the Great wall. It’s a steep piece of the wall and mom again did very well strolling up more than 200 steps. I continued another few hundred to reach a pagoda at the top point.
Yesterday we flew to Xian (where I am writing from), about 1.5 hours flight south west of Beijing. It’s the ancient capital of China. Today we visited the Terracota soldiers site, which is amazing when you hear the story and see the excavations and the huge amount of soldier figures natural size. Then we visited a terracote figurines factory (these are commercially being sold on every corner) and a Jade “factory” where we saw beautiful art works made of that stone. Mom bought earing, to complete her “sharsheret”.
This evening we had a dumplings festival in a restaurant in the city. we had about 10 different dumplings (mom eats vegeterian only and is sitting at a vegeterian table together with a few other tzadikim) and it was delightful. tomorrow a flight to chongching, after visiting here the muslim quarter and a mosque.
Please forward this message to Sarit, Benny and whoever you want. I cannot reach my contact list because of a computer problem here.
I also can not read the inbox letters. I hope further down the trip the computer conditions will improve.
Wish you a Succesfull start of your big American Tour.
Kiss the kids for us
Dad

Greetings from china test

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Hi there
I am in Xian and the computer is a chinese one with chinese characters.
I am trying to send this message. If OK the next follows.
Dad