Category Archives: Picture Galleries

Free range mothers

Happy mother’s day!

Once my son told me that his co-teachers expressed concern that I was left on my own while he worked (I assume this was at least in part due to their recognizing how poor my Chinese language skills are). At the time the term “free range children” was in vogue, so I told him to say that he believed in free range mothers. I wonder how that would translate.

Just for fun here are some truly wild mamas.

You can view any image larger size by clicking on it.

Apropos of nothing

Some street photography from Qufu.

When I visited the town of Qufu, Shandong Province in China, I decided to spend the afternoon just wandering about and getting an idea of the layout, then focus on seeing the San Kong (3 Kong’s) the second day in town.
Qufu, not WiFi (the spell checker keeps trying to change it), is Confucius’s home town and is very much oriented to tourism, primarily Chinese tourists. Most people visit Qufu in combination with Tai Shan over two days so they start early and there was a laid back feeling of the local folks living along as I wandered slowly around.

Even more steps

I was determined to not miss a single opportunity. My tenacity meant tired legs. But the offered sedan chairs were scarier to me than tired tootsies. The thought of two tiny Chinese kids hauling my well-rounded self up steep stone stairs made me feel a bit queezy. So up I went.

The third shore excursion on our Yangtze cruise was White Emperor City. Like the first two it was at the top of a hill accessed by lots of stone steps. All of the other English speaking folks on our cruise didn’t opt in so my son and I tagged along with a Chinese group. James speaks Chinese so we figured we could manage. But it turned out that the guide spoke excellent English and after each stop she took us aside and explained. So it was like having a private tour. She even translated famous poetry off the cuff.

The White Emperor City was different fundamentally from The other two: it was not a shrine or religious site. It was a memorial to the White Emperor, a man named Gongsun Shu. He was a local king who did well for his area and was considered loyal. He was moved to become emperor after a dream about a white dragon going upward to the sky.

This site had a good display and explanation about “hanging coffins” and a very good view of Kuiwen (the “gate” to the western-most of the Three Gorges) as well. More about that later.

Shibao Zhai Pagoda

Projecting from a stone island in the Yangtze River is the arresting sight of Shibao Zhai.

This pagoda appears to be almost convex due to the shape of the rock on which it was constructed.

The lower levels of this ancient pagoda would have been destroyed by the flooding caused by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Communal action, in the form of building a coffer dam has preserved this important site.

A response to the Thursday‘s-Special Challenge.

A little more Fengdu

Incense. Red ribbons. Lots and lots of people and stairs.

Like many important locations in China (and elsewhere). Fengdu Ghost City is a mixture: there are temples for Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism at the site. It is crowded (being a stop for all of the Yangtze River Cruises through the Three Gorges). It seems a bit like an amusement park in some ways and yet for many who visit it is also sacred.

It is an old location, predating all of the religions that have temples there. Some of the buildings and statues are quite ancient where others are new recreations, some are elegant and subdued and others are vibrantly colorful.

Which way to the ghosts?

Fengdu in Chongqing district of China is called “ghost city”. I visited there a week ago today.

Hill with the temples of Ghost City in Fengdu.

It was a long climb from the boat. We were there as a parade was going up.

I think the parade may have been related to the holiday Qing Ming Jie, a celebration of spring usually translated as “tomb sweeping”, although it encompasses more. The blog Spaceship China has an interesting post about the holiday.

 I’ll post pictures of the ghosts next time.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge