Saturday, February 25, 2012

Feb 20th

Monday February 20th –visiting QUING YAN

This
wonderful little place was over an hour and a half by bus outside the city.
Though this included sitting and waiting in the bus for enough passengers to
accumulate for departure. I was taken by a girl studying to teach English here!
I was asked at dinner the other night if I wanted to see this place. A phone
call was made and voila! All set for the next morning!
Inside
the gate, there were all kinds of touristy sales on both sides of the walkway.
I was cautioned by my guide (who was seeing it for the first time) that these
things would not only lack in quality but would be expensive. I figured as
much. Among the souvenir type places there were also places to eat….such as
balls of fried doufu, and pigs feet!
I was assured that the latter is very good…but we did not buy some to try. Oh
the disappointment is overwhelming.
I did get some of the rose
candy, particularly famous from here. various kinds were offered sprinkled
with different kinds of seeds I think? It was chewy and very good!
We
visited all 10 locations that the ticket got us in to see. The city was
walled…most of the pieces of it are still there, and we walked along parts of
it. Various buildings consisted of: where the president’s father lived
(including the ornate bed and desk), a temple (with large gold painted statue
of dude/lady sitting upon an alter where various flowers and candles were
placed, incense was burned and there was a place to kneel as well. Outside of
it were the prayer flags strung up across the courtyard and red flags that the
monks (?) give to people who pray or something, as a symbol of binding), there
was a place for students to come and take their examinations (which can last
for days/weeks and they are not allowed to leave the given room), hotel type
rooms (surprisingly unlocked. And I employed Jill’s Mr. Cuddles Rule! “when you
can take a free pee, do so!” on a nice toilet was a bonus..although an
illegitimate one), various other buildings that looked rather lovely with all
their archways and decorated woodwork carvings of dragons and other designs,
inside there were all kinds of fossils on display inside (of huge plants or
dinosaurs), and a building that had the minority artwork of the Miao people, as
well as a few other minorities crafstmenship on display.
One
of our last stops was the one with the minority art. A very nice lady was
there, and when she saw me looking around. Pulled out (FOUR!) thick books that
had samples of various types of weaves the Miao people do. Each type of
stitch/weave depicted images …and an English description of the picture and the
story that was depicted. It was absolutely beautiful. From some of the minority
art on sale, my companion of the day bought me a small whistle in the shape of
the horse…the Chinese year I was born J
We
had some tea and noodles with pork for lunch that we ate before getting on the
bus, sitting around the warm coal stove as a table.
Watching
out the bus ride back I saw the various farms worked amongst the hills. And the
bases of the hills dotted with the white tombstones. Only saw a few cows/bulls and mostly people
working their way through the fields. We passed through a town or two, or just
clusters of houses/buildings.
One thing is for sure though…highways here are pretty nice!
Relatively straight and even, at least, initially.

It was a rainy day, which is typical…though the forecast on
the weather channel usually calls for 70 and sunny…
Guiyang translated means “Precious sun”. because sunlight
here is so very rare and appreciated!

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