Beijing

So how do you feed hundreds of millions of people? From the train to Beijing we saw part of the Chinese solution in these huge tracts of green houses that extended for miles. No idea what was growing inside.

After arriving in the city, and experiencing Beijing's evening rush hour on the short-in-distance-only trip from the train station (no one in DC would complain about their commute after one week here), we walked by the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. It was closed but there were still hundreds of people taking the same shot, plus more than a few selfies with the portrait as a backdrop.

 

In The Neighborhood

After two days of riding the bus in traffic to various locations, we spent today exploring the neighborhood around the on foot. Which still looks like a big city with tall buildings and plenty of development (the first line of their new subway system opens next year). Although the weather is very nice, we saw few people on the beach. Bathing season starts July 1 (ending September 15) and I guess most take those dates very seriously.

Aside from the sightseeing, the reason we're here is the series of concerts my wife's choir is doing with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, the first of which was tonight in their home hall. They are very strict about photography (everyone is carrying a smart phone and not shy about using the camera!) so this is a shot of the choir filing out after the performance. I was probably caught on security cameras and will deported soon.

Tomorrow we are headed for Beijing on a bullet train.

 

Wedding Pictures

It appears to be wedding season here in Qingdao. While visiting the historic area of the city along two beautiful bays, we saw swarms of couples (I stopped counting at fifty) posing for their photographers using the scenic backdrops. This was one of the more ambitious but certainly not the only ones trying for just that right creative shot.

Our guide said there were hundred of wedding photography businesses in the area, including one with a pink van called Intimate Lover.

 

Beer Street

Qingdao is a large industrial city and port in China, so it probably has lots of exports. None as famous as Tsingtao Beer, at least according to some beer experts among my traveling companions. The business was established by the Germans during a relatively short period of occupation of the area at the turn of the 20th century.

The road that runs in front of the brewery (and beer museum) is known as Beer Street because of the dozens of beer gardens packed into a few blocks. Above each is a high-rise apartment building, variations of which are all over this city. I always wonder what those homes, and the people who live in them, are like.

Far From Home

After twelve hours of flying, airport running around, and the (now) usual security dance, we find ourselves here…

Qingdao, first of five stops on a tour of Chinese cities by the choir in which my wife sings. Me? I'm here for new experiences, learning, and picture taking opportunities.

As time and connections allow, I'm going to try posting one or two pictures a day (subject to the whims of the great firewall), along with a short reflection of the sights and sounds. Enjoy.