Friday, July 09, 2004

on the way to Wuhan

hey folks...........went to the great wall yesterday. i have already sent photos back home. if you want to see them, please write to my mom []. the great wall was all it was billed to be--great. there were lots of tourists there, mainly chinese, which was nice to
see. i am glad the place wasn't over-run with americans. after the trip to the great wall--the part we went to was about 60 km from the downtown--we went for lunch and then to the Ming Tombs. this was kinda morbid. it was an area of 40 with 13 humungous areas for each emperor's tomb. sorta like university
buildings around a quad. but a cemetery of a quad. i was glad to leave, though i must admit with the mountains all around and the cedar trees, it was quite an appealing location otherwise.

today we go to the forbidden city and then to tianamen square. i am not sure what to expect out of either of those other than i've heard there's a starbucks infringing on the gates of the forbidden city [which had to be asked to remove its sign, well, probably not *asked*] and i think there will be a small insignificant memorial to the presumably hundreds of young chinese students who were slaughtered at tianamen square in 1989.

after our sightseeing today, we will board an overnight train to wuhan at 7:30. i guess we will have sleepers and simply wake up in wuhan. we have had an excellent time in beijing, mainly because wuhan university set us up with an incredible guide and tour bus. everything is completely orchestrated for our comfort, oh yeah, even the side-trip to the jade factory on the way to the wall. [very touristy, i have a feeling the tour company got a little kickback of what we spent].

so, we will check into our university hotel tomorrow morning. internet access should be easier there--many of the folks brought laptops and supposedly we have ports in our i can reply to the great emails i've been receiving from many of you. thanks a lot for those and keep them coming!!!!!!!!!!!


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