LEBANON IMAGES: TYRE, PT. 3

Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus and its name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos (in Eusebius) quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon’s work is said to be dedicated to “Abibalus king of Berytus”—possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre.

There are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, Abimilku, written to Akenaten. The subject is often water, wood, and the Habiru overtaking the countryside, of the mainland, and how it affected the island-city. (wiki)

The first picture below features two U.N. peacekeepers from China. They were also sightseeing this day:

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28JUL13. Tyre, Lebanon.

CHINA-INSPIRED

ImageImageImageImageImageImageMILLS 50 Art Box Project, off of Colonial Drive

DEC12. Orlando, Florida. Instagram Lo-Fi Aspect

DALI, CHINA

City Wall with the mountains behind
City Wall with the mountains behind
Dali lies at an altitude of 1900m with a backdrop of the 4000m Cang Shan (Jade Green Mountains.)
Dali lies at an altitude of 1900m with a backdrop of the 4000m Cang Shan (Jade Green Mountains.)
One of many cafes in Old Dali
One of many cafes in Old Dali
Bjork and Tibet
Bjork and Tibet

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Man smoking outside one of the town gates
Man smoking outside one of the town gates
New/Old Dali
New/Old Dali
The rolling clouds seem close enough to touch
The rolling clouds seem close enough to touch
He has an Ancient Secret
He has an Ancient Secret
Early rainy morning in Dali
Early rainy morning in Dali
BAI PEOPLE'S BREAKFAST: The Bai People's Pancake, Fried Goat cheese with Chinese Ham and Scrambled Eggs, Yunnan coffee
BAI PEOPLE’S BREAKFAST: The Bai People’s Pancake, Fried Goat cheese with Chinese Ham and Scrambled Eggs, Yunnan coffee
Early morning in the clouds
Early morning in the clouds
Dali Town by the mountains
Dali Town by the mountains
My Puppy in Dali
My Puppy in Dali

All Pictures: MAY09. Dali, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

XIAMEN, GULANGYU ISLET

A final farewell to Jamison's classic Shanghai apartment
A final farewell to Jamison’s classic Shanghai apartment
Picture out of a train window. A 23-hour train ride from Shanghai to Xiamen.
Picture out of a train window. A 23-hour train ride from Shanghai to Xiamen.
Train through the mountains on way to Xiamen
Train through the mountains on way to Xiamen
Former Spanish consulate, now a Roman Catholic Church
Former Spanish consulate, now a Roman Catholic Church

After the treaty of Nanking in 1842, Gulangyu became an enclave for foreigners. Hence, all of the Victorian-era architecture. There was a thriving ex-pat business community as well as residences housing consulate-generals.

Architectural Heritage Site
Architectural Heritage Site
The island's inhabitants. It's a really quiet place. 20,000 people actually live here and call it home.
The island’s inhabitants. It’s a really quiet place. 20,000 people actually live here and call it home.

All Pictures: APR09. Xiamen, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

SHANGHAI 2

Xhengjian dumplings
Xhengjian dumplings
Prisoner in a dumpling prison
Prisoner in a dumpling prison
Old Shanghai architecture
Old Shanghai architecture
 Noodle Boys on break
Noodle Boys on break

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Bike and Rice Break
Bike and Rice Break

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This is part re-told from a friend living in Shanghai and bits and pieces from the internet: “Moller Villa: Legend has it that Jewish Eric Moller came to Shanghai in 1919 empty-handed and made his fortune here by winning large sums at the horse races, culminating in the construction of this fantasy home for his daughter. The daughter is said to have had a dream in which she saw a castle like those in the Hans Andersen fairy tales. On awakening, she drew a sketch. The father was so fond of his youngest daughter that he immediately commissioned an architect to build her dream house.

In reality the Mollers were originally Swedish with British citizenship. Eric Moller was the son of wealthy businessman Nils Moller, who had started a business in Hong Kong in the 1860s. It was said that a fortune-teller told Moller that if he ever finished the house, ill-fortune would befall him. So Moller dawdled, adding bits and bobs for more than 10 years, finally completing the task in the late 1940s. According to Johnston, Moller’s daughter said that the fortune-teller tale too is false, but there is no doubt that Moller’s fortunes took a turn for the worse following the breakout of World War II.

Moller left Shanghai in 1950 soon after the communists came to power. A few years later on a flight to Singapore, as his daughter Nancy watched and waited for him at Singapore’s Kallang Airport, his Qantas plane crashed on landing, killing Eric Moller and 32 other passengers.”
Jamison in his Shanghai Apartment
Jamison in his Shanghai Apartment
Ghosts of People Past
I could feel the presence of people who lived in the apartment many years ago.
All Pictures: APR09. Shanghai, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

NANJING

Jasmine Hostel, Nanjing. Quiet, relaxing.
Jasmine Hostel, Nanjing. Quiet, relaxing.
Nanjing Massacre Museum. FAMILY RUINED: Never returns the son killed, Never returns the husband buried alive, Sorrow drowns the wife raped, Heavens...
Nanjing Massacre Museum.
FAMILY RUINED:
Never returns the son killed,
Never returns the husband buried alive,
Sorrow drowns the wife raped,
Heavens…

Main reason I came to Nanjing was to see this museum. One of the best books I’ve ever read, ‘The Rape of Nanking’ by Iris Chang. Found out in the museum yesterday that Chang committed suicide in 2004. She was working on a new book about the Bataan Death March. She was born in Princeton, NJ and the pressure of being a Chinese American and after her book, kind of representative of the victims to get the Japanese to admit guilt…she confronted the Japanese Ambassador in public…she started to feel paranoid, watched by the CIA…she thought they were trying to make her look crazy to discredit her…fell into deep depression…and killed herself. Brilliant writer, intense.

Bike,Tree,Lake
Bike,Tree,Lake
Ming Xiaoling Tomb. The first section of the avenue leading up to the mausoleum takes you along the 'spirit path,' lined with stone statues of lions, camels, elephants, and horses. These stone animals drive away evil spirits and guard the tomb.
Ming Xiaoling Tomb. The first section of the avenue leading up to the mausoleum takes you along the ‘spirit path,’ lined with stone statues of lions, camels, elephants, and horses. These stone animals drive away evil spirits and guard the tomb.
Zhongsan Mountain National Park
Zhongsan Mountain National Park
Zhongyan
Zhongyan

All Pictures: APR09. Nanjing, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

XIAN

Shuyuan Hostel. Y30/nite. around $5.
Shuyuan Hostel. Y30/nite. around $5.
Muslim Chinese woman at her food stand
Muslim Chinese woman at her food stand
The ancient city walls, a shot from the doorway of our hostel
The ancient city walls, a shot from the doorway of our hostel
Terra Cotta Warrior Mannequins!
Terra Cotta Warrior Mannequins!
The Bell Tower in the center of Xian
The Bell Tower in the center of Xian
Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses museum --- Eighth Wonder of the World. About 8,000 warriors have been unearthed.
Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses museum — Eighth Wonder of the World. About 8,000 warriors have been unearthed.

ImageI ‘Jackie-cotted’ The Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics because it was too painful to watch that gargantuan torch burn continuously as the world faces a perpetual energy crisis. And it was to burn for the duration of the 3-week event. However, if you DID watch, then you may have seen these two marionettes in a performance. Apparently, it was incredible. They are huge. Hand-made. The actual ones. The real deals. At the Terra-cotta museum.

All Pictures: APR09. Xian, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

PINGYAO

Yamen Hostel, Pingyao. 30 rmb/ nt. around 5 usd.
Yamen Hostel, Pingyao. 30 rmb/ nt. around 5 usd.
Yamen Hostel courtyard
Yamen Hostel courtyard
 One of a million archaic archways leading to homes and courtyards...

One of a million archaic archways leading to homes and courtyards…
Sakura Cafe. The place to hang when you're in Pingyao
Sakura Cafe. The place to hang when you’re in Pingyao
Sakura Cafe Apple Pie
Sakura Cafe Apple Pie

The Apple Pie at Sakura Cafe. It’s a whole pie. Naturally, I expected just a piece. I was even getting impatient, asking them how long it takes to get a piece of pie out here. Then, this came. I was like, a whole pie? How much? It was what it said in the menu…24rmb…in general, the Chinese eat big portions of everything. In KFC or McDonald’s, couples will get two sandwiches, chicken on the side, and ice cream for dessert….I love to watch the Chinese eat unabashedly. Whereas, in Vietnam, they sit in KFC for hours to see and be seen with a small fries and small Pepsi…not the Chinese!!!

Men on Bike Carts in a Narrow Alleyway
Men on Bike Carts in a Narrow Alleyway
Bike Cart
Bike Cart
Looks like a house built into the wall
Looks like a house built into the wall
The best-preserved ancient walled city in China - Pingyao.
The best-preserved ancient walled city in China – Pingyao.
Pingyao residents
Pingyao residents
 Through another winding gateway
Through another winding gateway
Ancient walls built in 1370
Ancient walls built in 1370
Its residences and shops, and even the government office are all STILL in the style of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911)
Its residences and shops, and even the government office are all STILL in the style of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911)
Kitchen from the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Kitchen from the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Rooftops in the center of town
Rooftops in the center of town
Pingyao Cat
Pingyao Cat

The most sedate cats and dogs in the world. Maybe they’re opium-heads? I dunno. It’s a bit disconcerting. I watched an owner play ‘chase’ with her dog today and the dog didn’t make a sound…just ran all around the room…I kept watching and thinking ‘Bark, dammit! Bark!’

All Pictures: APR09. Pingyao, China. (Sony Camera and Lens)

BEIJING

Construction Worker
Construction Worker
Great hostel, under construction on the outside only. So far, the best hostel I've been to. Great staff, can arrange anything you want.
Great hostel, under construction on the outside only. So far, the best hostel I’ve been to. Great staff, can arrange anything you want.
Courtyard Area of Leo Hostel
Courtyard Area of Leo Hostel
Making youtiao, deep-fried dough stick. Tasteless, bordering on terrible-tasting, if that's possible. Powdered sugar would have been a wonderful addition...
Making youtiao, deep-fried dough stick. Tasteless, bordering on terrible-tasting, if that’s possible. Powdered sugar would have been a wonderful addition…
The Great Wall at Mutianyu. Magnificent. Badaling is the tourist trap, this is the new, best place to see it without too many hawkers and vendors.
The Great Wall at Mutianyu. Magnificent. Badaling is the tourist trap, this is the new, best place to see it without too many hawkers and vendors.
He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man. - Mao Zedong
He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man. – Mao Zedong
'The strength of a wall depends on the courage of those who defend it.' - Genghis Khan Sentries could be bribed, so...Matianyu is renowned for its Ming Dynasty guard towers.
‘The strength of a wall depends on the courage of those who defend it.’ – Genghis Khan
Sentries could be bribed, so…Matianyu is renowned for its Ming Dynasty guard towers.
It Seems to Go On Forever
It Seems to Go On Forever
From the Dave Ball School of Self-Photography. He's the expert. I never do this. But I couldn't resist. It's The Great Wall! And I refused all of the people around me who offered to take a pic of me with my camera, haha!
From the Dave Ball School of Self-Photography. He’s the expert. I never do this. But I couldn’t resist. It’s The Great Wall! And I refused all of the people around me who offered to take a pic of me with my camera, haha!
Guard Tower on the Wall
Guard Tower on the Wall
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Monument to the People's Heroes in Tianenmen Square
Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tianenmen Square
Gate of Heavenly Peace
Gate of Heavenly Peace
Security Guard at Tianenmen Square
Security Guard at Tianenmen Square
Security Guard at Tianenmen Square
Notice how gargantuan this portrait is compared to the people standing above.
Forbidden City: Off limits for 500 years. Two dynasties Ming and Qing
Forbidden City: Off limits for 500 years. Two dynasties Ming and Qing
Stone Pillars in the Forbidden City
Stone Pillars in the Forbidden City
An emperor sat here
An emperor sat here
Exposed rocks in the Forbidden City
Exposed rocks in the Forbidden City
Street Food in Beijing
Street Food in Beijing

LIJIANG, CHINA

Rooftops of Lijiang
Rooftops of Lijiang

View from my hostel’s 3rd floor, every beautiful early morning.

Small Square
Small Square

“I love to get up early and explore places with the feeling of being virtually alone. Fortunately, I got that feeling this morning. This is a small square that by the afternoon, was overrun by tour groups with flag-waving guides…”

Water Wheels
Water Wheels

‘Water Wheels,’ divide the ‘Old Town’ from the ‘New Town.’ The statue in the distance is the World Heritage commemorative statue.

'New Town' Canal
‘New Town’ Canal

Early morning shot of a canal on the ‘New Town’ side.

Chairman Mao. In a square near the business district. Taller than a mountain.
Chairman Mao. In a square near the business district. Taller than a mountain.
'Old Town' Scenery
‘Old Town’ Scenery
My hangout for coffee and Tibetan beef momo dumplings. LAMU'S HOUSE OF TIBET.
My hangout for coffee and Tibetan beef momo dumplings. LAMU’S HOUSE OF TIBET.
Tibetan Beef Momo Dumplings. Delicious! Lamu House of Tibet.
Tibetan Beef Momo Dumplings. Delicious! Lamu House of Tibet.
'Smells Like Dead Spirits.'
‘Smells Like Dead Spirits.’
Bridge connecting two important trade streets back in the day. When they used to travel via horse carts...
Bridge connecting two important trade streets back in the day. When they used to travel via horse carts…
'New Town' Waterway
‘New Town’ Waterway
Samurai Doggy
Samurai Doggy
Girl, Samurai, and Naxi woman.
Girl, Samurai, and Naxi woman.
Boy Praying
Boy Praying
The Naxi created a written language over 1000 years ago using an amazing system of pictographs. The ONLY hieroglyphic language still in use.
The Naxi created a written language over 1000 years ago using an amazing system of pictographs. The ONLY hieroglyphic language still in use.
Water Wheel by the three wells that people still use for drinking and washing clothes.
Water Wheel by the three wells that people still use for drinking and washing clothes.
Three Friends in a Cafe
Three Friends in a Cafe
Naxi Woman
Naxi Woman

Lijiang has been the base of the Naxi minority for the last 1400 years. Naxi women wear blue blouses and trousers covered by a blue or black apron. The traditional cape apparently symbolizes the heavens.

A Quiet Moment by the Wells
A Quiet Moment by the Wells
Naxi man in traditional garb.
Naxi man in traditional garb.
Boy walking down a cobblestone alley
Boy walking down a cobblestone alley
Half Moon
Half Moon

Chinese children wear pants with a slit in the front and the back, exposing themselves. I always thought the purpose of pants was to cover the bits. Otherwise go naked, yeah? Apparently, the Chinese consider this ecofriendly (true, plastic diapers are destructive to the environment,) easier to toilet train the kids (can be trained faster and earlier,)…but I’ve never seen this in Japan, Nam, Thailand, Cambodia…anywhere else…

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“I was lost for about two and a half hours in the windy, maze-like streets of Old Town…and came upon one of the coolest places ever — providing me with one of the coolest moments in my life…I happened upon this little door…it said ‘bar,’ but…it was just one room, dark room, with a voice that said (i couldn’t see anyone) ‘come in.’ I said ‘no, thanks’ and walked away…but ended up returning due to the intrigue…one room with a couch and pillows….”

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So, this is it. My dream dwelling. He just lies on the couch and listens to music…So, from the doorway, you can see the whole room. There’s no bar, really. He just hangs out here to relax during the day then has jam/drinking sessions with his friends every night…

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This is my favorite aspect of the room. A small stage with a chair and amplifier…a solitary black and white photo on the brick wall of hands strumming a guitar…a mini-horse’s saddle (?), half-drunk liquor bottles….just love it!

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Sorry for the blur — it was so dark in there, but I hate using a flash, distorts the color too much…so, this is him. We didn’t exchange names, he didn’t speak much English…see his guitar and the Bob Marley pic. We’d try to speak a little, then he would just recline and listen to his Chinese rock music…

ImageAs I walked in, the beer shelf was to my right. There were only two kinds of beer, 1 Chinese and 1 Budweiser. I opted for the Chinese and then asked how much. He said ‘no money. free.’ And that’s how my afternoon with this cool guy began…

Close-up of the chill-out area...
Close-up of the chill-out area…
Old Town Style
Old Town Style