all the good under the clouds

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Cloudy weather isn’t necessarily pretty, but it’s good to get work done:

seed

The same goes for walking: clouds = good.

I noticed so many donkeys everywhere:

donkeys

Dear four-legged friends: some might say that horses are more stylish than you (with your long ears), but I still like you best!

I walked past a small countryside temple, and luckily, the gate was open:

mountain temple

According to local custom, ten pairs of incense sticks are aligned and lit on one end, thus burning for a consecutive 24 hours.

I wanted to make my way up to one of the strange fortresses I had seen on the way:

fortress

Some farmers had been trying to tell me what this was all about, but I really couldn’t make any sense of their local dialect, so I just pretended to understand and followed the pointed finger:

pointer

And there it was, a crude earthen fortress with lots of empty space inside:

mud wall

Later that night, some dudes in a restaurant let me in on the story: after the fall of the Qing-dynasty, when the country was undergoing an epoch of chaos, the farmers in the area were being constantly terrorized by local warlords and bandit hordes. So they hurriedly erected these fortifications on the highest points in the hills, thus having a safe haven to fall back to in case of an attack.

Cool, I thought, history can be so in-your-face sometimes, much different from the things on display in museums or exhibitions, let alone book pages.

The settlement I was staying at had the feel of a Sergio Leone movie:

village

Okay, there were of course no cowboys, but they did have a pair of donkeys next to the room I was staying in.

Then the kids appeared:

I love Jesus

I found this little guy’s hat enjoyable, so I took a picture, and then, one after the other…

countryside courtyard

…more and more kids magically appeared:

little friends

Later that evening, we had a wonderful time; me and maybe 30 little kids, sitting under the light-bulb on the kang in my room, and looking at pictures and videos on my computer.

There were many Oh’s and Ah’s and lots of laughter.



  • andy

    I see skies of blue….. clouds of white
    Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights
    I hear children laugh…… I watch them grow
    Theyll learn much more…..than Ill never know
    And I think to myself …..

    WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!!!

    (thanks to Louis)

    My suggestion (for those wonderful days):

    Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole –
    "Somewhere over the rainbow (Wonderful World)"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po8rG4nXpUs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A2Jt4WOxN8

    Reply

  • Jochen

    Hey,
    ich finde deine Unternehmung großartig.
    Ich wünsch dir noch eine Menge Energie für deine Reise und viel Glück.

    Grueße aus Schaumburg!

    Reply

  • Alfredo

    Very good pictures yesterday and today! You really use the wide-angle to a good effect, for example in the picture of the fort – you turned the distorsion to good effect there! I wonder why some days produce many good pictures and others none. If I was to select my ten best pictures, more than half of them would probably be taken on two or three days (not that my "top ten" is very going to make it into the annals of photography…).
    Anyway, your picture of the spring blossoms yesterday was so real, it was like I was there feeling the warm sun. And the picture in your room at night was very good too, beautiful use of what most would dismiss as poor light!

    Reply

  • Steven

    What's wonderful day !!!
    I put a Placemark in my GE of the fortress as " Chris' Fortress ", haha~~

    Reply

  • Christoph

    andy: Ah! Nice old songs…
    Jochen: Willkommen dabei, und Gruß zurück ins schöne SHG-Land! 😉
    Alfredo: Wait a second! – Not ALL my pictures are simply amazing ALL THE TIME? Hahahaha… no, really, I'm happy you enjoy looking at some of them, I sure enjoy pressing the shutter button!

    Reply

  • andy

    There are soo many versions of this song but THIS version is my absolute favorite. I hope you enjoyed it too ;o)
    lg andy ;o))

    Reply

  • Rubi

    das erste bild ist cool. echt, die linien und dann dieser eine typ. cool.

    Reply

  • Christoph

    andy: Haven't listened to it yet.
    Rubi: hehe, sauber!

    Reply

  • Josie Ella

    All the lives you’ve touched and been touched by. It makes me think walking is better than a bicycle. I wonder how you muat often think of the people you meet.

    Reply

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