Saturday, August 9, 2008

China Day Eight, Part I - Xiamen


So, I'm finally back to posting about our trip to China again. I guess with everything else happening in our lives, blogging about China got away from me and then I found it difficult to get back into the swing of it...especially since the trip happened way back in April and it's now August. I'm determined to finish the job I started, though - watching the opening ceremony of the 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES in BEIJING (crazy amazing) last night sparked a renewed enthusiasm for China in me. That, and I'm actually going back to China in September! Again, I'll be going with work for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately for me, Missy won't be coming on this trip. Instead, I'll be traveling with other co-workers this time...but more on that later. Right now, I've got to finish documenting the trip to China we took in spring.

In the last post about China, we were traveling by mini van from Huangyan to the port city of Xiamen. We had got to the city (and our appointments) several hours late. After a long day we got back to our hotel - the Marco Polo Xiamen - and crashed hard.

The next morning, we got up early in order to make up some appointments we re-scheduled from the day before. The view outside our window was overcast:

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The main restaurant in the hotel was being remodeled, so they temporarily set up the eating area in the lobby:

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There was this beautiful mural in the entrance of the hotel:

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Much of Xiamen is surrounded by water and it kinda reminded me of San Francisco. We had to cross a couple of bridges to get to the factories:

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The toll gate was pretty was shaped like the bridge we just crossed:

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We passed this yellow factory building and all the factory workers outside were dressed in matching yellow outfits. The english writing on the billboard says "Beautiful lifetime with good paint":

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We visited one of the factories that manufacture some of the Christmas decorations we sell. Here we inspect a bunch of light-up resin Christmas tree decorations waiting for the next step in the production process. Eventually, they'll be painted green:

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After our appointments, we headed off on a two hour drive to our new hotel in the city of Quanzhou. On the way there we saw this statue high up on a mountain and the entrance to the incredibly long and steep stairway that led up to it:

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We saw this giant HARP off in the totally reminded me of the GUINNESS logo:

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From the highway, we saw this ultra modern-looking stadium being built. We asked our interpreter if the stadium was being built for the Olympics and he said that it was *just* a local sports arena:

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You know that scene in the original STAR WARS movie where Luke trains with Obi-Wan in the ways of THE FORCE? When they're traveling on the Millennium Falcon, and he's wearing that helmet with the blast shield over his face, while he flails at at the lasers being shot at him by that little robotic orb? Well, the guy on this scooter looks like he's using The Force to guide him through traffic - the face mask of his purple helmet looks totally solid...

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DRAGONBALL Z? This giant stone sphere made up of intertwined dragons was spotted on the edge of the parking lot of this shopping mall in Quanzhou:

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One of the more memorable sights on our trip was this man pulling a cart piled high with huge plastic bags bursting with plastic bottles and tin about RECYCLING! I only wish that I took a much clearer picture. Soon after that, we arrived at the YEOHWA HOTEL:

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XIE XIE called it a day and eagerly hit the hay:

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