China I

From May 12th to June 4th, we enjoyed another great adventure. It was our fifth trip with the Gundersen's (hence Gandy 5) and we did a "death march" through Tibet and China. I use the term "death march" in the sense that it was not a restful vacation, but nevertheless a great, enjoyable experience. We are talking 12 to 14-hour days without a break, with heat and humidity. And we returned with a plethora of great experiences to think and laugh about in the years to come. When you cram 16 plane flights, two cruises, numerous "spinner dinners" (more about that later), two panda encounters, innumerable bus rides, and a partridge in a pear tree into three weeks, it is bound to produce some fun.
 
We flew from Wenatchee to San Francisco, then non-stop to Hong Kong, where we enjoyed several days as we adjusted to the time change. What an interesting city! The picture below was obviously taken at night, but captured perfectly an interesting phenomena - the city lights were so bright, the clouds overhead were illuminated. The camera caught it just how it looked. One highlight of our time there was a last-minute change in the itinerary - we crossed into mainland China for a day and enjoyed a visit to the China Cultural Center in Shenzhen (think PCC in Hawaii). The live shows were fabulous.
 
Then we were off to Kunming, the highlight there being the Rock Forest (see the ladies dressed in ethnic garb in the rock grotto). We call the nightly meals "spinner dinners" because there was always a whole carp and other exciting surprises on a lazy susan in the middle of the table.
 
Our final stop before Tibet was in the beautiful old city of Lijiang, where we enjoyed a very cool hotel. As you can see, the faces of the people and the especially the children made it difficult to keep the camera idle. We took over 10,000 images on the trip - after weeks of editing, I settled on 4,300+ keepers. Overkill perhaps. Our camera is still recovering. I got my hair cut in Lijiang - interesting experience.   
 
 











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