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Half-Asleep, Half-Awake

Half-asleep, half-awake, over-stimulated in airports, under-stimulated on long flights, out-of-sorts, out-of-routine, off-keel, and off-base, much like when you wake up after surgery with the effects of heavy-duty drugs. In short,  jet lag.   And in this condition, you are expected to navigate new airports…   And take off your jacket, sweater, shoes, belts and jewelry, have your Boarding Pass and Passport ready at all times, and God Forbid if you should forget to put your liquids and gels in that clear plastic bag.       We had 3 flights to get to Marseilles, on 3 different airlines. Flights were all fine and … More…

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Only Heros Climb The Great Wall of China

  My friend, L, arranged a car and driver to take us to the GREAT WALL – not to the touristy rebuilt sections but to the original authentic Great Wall, unrestored, fewer tourists, 120 km NE of Beijing, called Simatai.    We were anxious to see the countryside in China, and the trip there was utterly astonishing! Not so much for the lush green valleys, the approaching Yanshan Mountains, the fruit stands dotting the edge of the winding mountain highway with bags of apples, pears, and exotic fruits or vegetables selling for a mere 15 yuan (C$3), but for the riveting … More…

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Lost in Summer Palaces And Temples of Heaven

  The parks in Beijing are simply stunning!     They make parks in Canada look embarrassingly simple.   Beijing’s parks are full of themed areas with separate pathways leading to separate areas within the larger park. Each one is set in a magnificent and serene setting and unique theme.   With ponds and streams, hills and valleys, glades and gardens, rare trees, unusual flowers, the landscapes were choreographed to reflect each specific theme.   Even the scent of each theme area seemed to match the theme.  With impressive displays of wisteria, bamboo, peonies, orchids, cherry blossoms and apple blossoms, ancient cypress trees, pine … More…

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