Friday, September 02, 2011

Postcards from China: Qing Tombs, Great Wall, Teahouse

Photo 1:  Qing Tombs

We're two days into this trip, and it's already been filled with wonder, adventure and "lost in translation" moments of cross-cultural oddities.  The photo above is from the Eastern Qing Dynasty tombs.  If you're ever heard of the "Dragon Lady" empress, she's buried here.  (She wasn't much loved by the people.)  So is the emperor who unified much of China (Qian Long), tho he was Manchurian (instead of the majority Han).  Our tour leader took us to these tombs, as they are very seldom visited by Westerners. In fact, we were the only non-Chinese people I saw.  The road to get to them was quite the adventure, too...detours, animated discussions with locals regarding directions, huge piles of rock in the middle of the road, and narrow gaps the bus barely squeezed through!  This one required Dramamine.
Speaking of roads...below is a typical scene.  I had to let go of the fear-for-my-life reaction.  It's amazing how all the buses, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, people, and the occasional animal flow together smoothly.

Photo 2 Street:  Notice in the picture above the driver's green bottle of tea.  That is with him always, and he refills it throughout the day from a thermos of hot water.

Photo 3: Dragon's Head

Here's another destination that few Westerners see - it's where the Great Wall meets the sea. It's called the Dragon's Head.

Photo 4:  Confucius Teahouse

Last evening after dinner, we strolled down a back alley to this lovely Confucius Teahouse.  We were served tea Gong Fu style, with a beautiful and knowledgeable hostess guiding us through the process to see, smell, and taste the tea. 
The tour has just begun...I hope to send more in a few days.  Thank you for joining me!



Ginger said...

Glad you are having a nice time. Can't wait to read more about your trip.

massagematters said...

Great pictures! Thank you for sharing!! :) Miss you...

Rosemary said...

Loved this snippet of your trip... thanks for pointing out the driver's bottle of tea! What a great trip... can't wait to read and see more!

parTea lady said...

How wonderful that you are seeing all these sites not normally visited by tourists. I loved seeing your photos.

VeeTea said...

Oh, the roads! Thanks for bringing up travel memories for me. :) I'll never forget my first day on the road in India. I was terrified! But it passed quickly enough. Still, I never quite got used to making right turns abroad -- it feels innately wrong every time.

Angela McRae said...

Incredible! I can just tell you are having a blast already. I'll be reading every word. ENJOY!