“Visiting China” by Thomas Alexander

On this blog post I will copy my lifelong (he is three months older than I) friend’s recent trip to China with his daughter, Marty.  I thought it was FASCINATING and wanted to preserve the experience FOREVER instead of it just being on Facebook (which we all know, goes away very quickly and you can’t search….).

Soooooooooo, BOOKMARK this page and visit often as it will take me awhile (a week or two) to grab, copy, and paste “Tom’s Great Adventure to China” in it’s entirety here on ForCarol.com.

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June 26, 2014

Gone are the days when I would throw some clothes, a toothbrush and razor in a bag and be packed……now it’s chargers for the phone, laptop, notebook and cameras; back-up batteries; portable hard drives, flash cards, memory sticks; USB cables, patch cables, card readers; transformers, inverters & A-daptors….oh yeah -and meds, contacts & supplies, reading glasses, back-up reading glasses, and back-up back-up reading glasses Have I forgotten anything?

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June 26, 2014

And the adventure begins…. — at Boston Logan International Airport.

June 26, 2014

Listening to The Traveling Wilburys on the internet going 568 mph @ 32000 ft above the Chukchi Sea. That’s pretty cool….

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June 27, 2014

A little weary, but made it. Hooked up with Marty at airport — at Harbour Plaza Metropolis.

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June 28, 2014

Heading up to Beijing….Marty just told me fb is censored/blocked in China….it’s the little things in life ( like freedom of speech) that count …so I guess I’m going into radio silence here for a few weeks (unless I can out-maneuver them technologically!). Thanks for all the interest/support in our trip…see you on the other side!!!! — at Hong Kong International Airport.

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June 29 2014

We are blown away. Beautiful airport. Sailed through Immigration, got baggage quickly, sailed through Customs. As we left Customs there was an information desk. No queue. So we stopped and asked if our hotel had a shuttle. Lady spoke good English, told us no, we’d need a taxi. We asked her where to catch the taxi, and she said she could order, it would be. 300 RMB, and be there in 5 minutes. We said great, order it, and while we are waiting I’d hit the ATM (right next to info booth) cause we had no yuan. She said not necessary – I could pay her with a credit card!! I did, and she had a co-worker WALK us to the taxi. We are on our way to the hotel, and I am dumb-founded….. btw….The worst airport experience of this trip so far was my departure from Logan….total chaos at 5 am…

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June 29, 2014

A typical Chinese snack…cucumbers and chili sauce and rabe with peanuts. God help me!

marty eating chinese food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 29, 2014

bobsled great wall

Bobsled Down The Great Wall of China (<—–click to see the video)
So Marty and I visited The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu today, and it was everything we hoped it would be, and a little bit more……looking at the web site, we knew that we would have an option to take a chairlift up, which we did, and was the right choice, because hiking the steps on the wall itself was a formidable task. The surprise, though, was that we had the option to ride a self-driven mechanical bobsled down a chute to get back down! Who’d-a-thunk they would take one of the Eight Wonders of the World and turn it into an amusement park ride? The rules were simple….ride it at your own risk, and if you crash into the sled in front of you, it’s your fault, and you pay for injuries and damage…….If I had known, I would have brought the GoPro…..but I did get some video film a guy coming down while we were going up….and it was a bit of fun coming down….— at The Great Wall Of China at Mutianyu.
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June 30, 2014
great wall
Monks gotta’ have some fun too! Saw a couple of Buddhist monks taking selfies and pictures of themselves with an iPhone on The Great Wall of China today….we thought that was pretty funny… — in Beijing, China.
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June 30, 2014
pull tab
Haven’t seen pull tabs in at least 30 years. Still used in China. Guess they don’t listen to Buffet over here…
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July 1, 2014
tomato and egg
Lunch – Tomato & egg, and rice. And beer.

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July 1, 2014

village

Chinese farming village about 75 miles south of the northern border…

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July 2, 2014

We’ve made it to the Land of the Blue Sky……the train trip was a great change of pace, scenic & relaxing, and Mongolia is just beautiful and unique… — at Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.

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July 2, 2014

erlian china

Arrival Erlian (<—–click to see the video)
The train ride from Beijing to Ulaan Baatar requires a 3 hour layover in the Chinese border town of Erlian to go through Customs; and because the Mongolian tracks are a different gauge than the Chinese tracks, and they actually have to take the train into a maintenance shed and change the bogies out and switch it to the Mongolian track….this video is of our arrival in Erlian, and it’s the first time on this trip that I felt that I was in Communist China…….I was wondering if we were all going to have to get off and march around for three hours. Marty says they do this Party rah-rah type stuff all the time in the smaller towns…..

 — at Erlian, China.

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Much more coming soon….I’m tired!  haha

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