Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm Going To China!!!!


Wednesday July 22 at 9:30 am Shanghai time the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth casting it's tiny shadow on to the Earth in a small corridor that includes Shanghai, and I will be there live and in person to witness and image the fantastic event we call a Total Solar Eclipse! I have placed a countdown timer on the top right of my site to remind you and me of when I leave on a plane to this event.


The above image shows the path of the total solar eclipse.


I will be on an 11 day tour so not only will I be witnessing the Total Solar Eclipse I will also be visiting the Great Wall Of China.

The unbelievable TerraCotta Warriors, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, a boat ride across the Kunming Lake, and a visit to the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, frigging awesome stuff.

The only down thing about my whole adventure are the plane flights, I am terrified of flying. When getting my passport the person processing me said she just went to China as well and that she is also afraid of flying, she suggested lots of knock out drugs and head phones. Anybody out there that has any suggestions I'd like to hear from you, also anyone who has been to China I'd be interested on hearing from you as well about suggestions or things to look for.

I'll be taking 1,000's of images and have already bought more memory cards, so expect lots of pics. Hopefully they have Internet connections in the Hotels. I will post images of the eclipse as soon as I am able after the event. To see a live Total Solar Eclipse has been a lifelong dream of mine... soon to be realized.

I'll leave you now with an animation of my latest Sunset image complete with a Green Flash.


92 comments:

Daisy said...

How exciting! I can't wait to see all your awesome photos from the trip.

jayewalking said...

sounds like a wonderful opportunity! you should have lots of great pictures when you get back!

Stephanie B said...

That is absolutely fabulous, Bob. I'll be researching and thinking of solutions for your fear of flying over this weekend so I can give you a good answer.

But I think what you're flying over to see is enough to make you too excited to be scared. I'm SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

Mike said...

Have fun when you go on the trip and I look forward to your images and reviews when you post. This is a fun site and one that I visit on a regular basis. Thanks

Max-e said...

Hi Bob, this looks like it is going to be an awesome trip. Like you, I also do not enjoy flying - it's not that I am afraid of flying, it's the fear of dropping from the sky :)
My son is an airline pilot and assures me that it is quite safe.
Look forward to seeing your pictures.

Final_Transit said...

\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/\m/
So cool Bob! China! Wow. I'm sure you'll find a way to overcome the fear soon. Afterall there is a bigger reward there!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Daisy, I will certainly have lots to show you, even movies, taking my camcorder as well.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

It sure is jayewalking, once in a lifetime, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for looking into it for me Stephanie, the only reason I'm even thinking of going is because of the stuff I'll be seeing, hopefully that will be enough to keep me from being terrified on the way over.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Mike, glad you have a good time here and visit regularly, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Max-e, thanks for the reassuring words from your Son.

Lol, same , flying's not the problem, it's the falling and hitting the ground I think about all the time,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Priyank, yes the stuff I'm going to be seeing does help justify in my mind the, as I see it the crazy risks I'm taking with all the flights.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Whoaaaaaaa!!! Hoooooooo! Holy shit that is great news Bob! For your fear of flying try a alcohol enema pre-flight, this way your breath wont smell like booze and you will be bombed out of your mind lol! Good stuff cant wait for all the feedback! :D

DrBurst said...

That is epic, I love to see someone un-affect by this economy, keep living your dreams.

The trip to that area is tiring, when I went to Japan I felt asleep while writing and lost the pen. Try focusing on something else, try blogging while in the air, you could get a month ahead.

Will said...

Hey Bob - I am very envious of you! Hope you have a great trip. I request that you take a lesson from me and do not be afraid to go off topic here and write a bunch of posts about your trip that do not necessarily touch on the theme of your site.

Have a fun and safe trip. I look forward to lots of great articles!

Rose DesRochers said...

That's soo exciting Bob. Wow! Take lots of pics. By the way did you catch the size of the moon last night. It was huge. Why? lol

Anne Vis said...

What a great pportunity, wonderful, congratulations! I'm sure your sense of curiosity will win from your fear of flying ... I'll send knor-angels to encourage you! :-)

kRiZ cPEc said...

Arrrrgh....Bob is going to China! And to visit so many places! Have a happy trip! I am prepared to be amazed by the shots you bring back after the trip. :)

A HAPPY MAN said...

As a Chinese, welcome to our country. At here you will find China is a wonderful place and you'll be fell at home.
Happy to you!

Starving Artist said...

I wish I could go with you! I want to see everything you are going to see also. The total eclipse will be a bonus too!

Ruth said...

Fantabuloso, Bob!! Good good good for you. It will be so cool seeing what you post here while you're there.

I have a meditation I do when I'm flying and afraid. I close my eyes and imagine the plane is inside me. I am actually flying myself. It works for me. Make me feel I am in control. :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Roger I'll put that on my "maybe do as a last resort" list.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks DrBurst, I wish I could sleep, maybe with some drugs,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will, I intend on blogging off topic, just so much material and stuff to blog about that won't be space related, thanks for the suggestion.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Rose, well it was pretty close to still being Full, you probably caught it low on the horizon. I captured a beautiful orange huge Worm Full Moon which I will be posting about next post.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for the knor-Angels Anne, I'll need all the help I can get.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks kRiZ cPEc, I will be taking tons of images, I am really looking forward to being there and will be documenting every little thing.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much A HAPPY MAN for the welcome, I'm sure I will feel very welcome there.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Starving Artist, I wish you could come too, I will be taking lots of images for everyone that can't make the journey, especially the eclipse.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, what a novel idea, that is the problem I have with flying, absolutely no control, and listening to all the weird noises the plane makes and turning fast when I wasn't expecting it to, if I were up in the cockpit watching what the pilots were doing I might feel a little more assured, unless they're saying things like "we're going down" or "we've lost control", that would suck,lol.\m/\m/

AngelBaby said...

I am so excited for you! I can't wait to see you new pictures, I know they will be awesome. Dreams really do come true!

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Angelbaby, I'm going to be taking lots of pics so you can all share in my dream.\m/\m/

franx said...

Great post Bob...Sorry Long time I never only because busy with my job. Have a nice week end

Don said...

it will be so worth it for yo to go and do this! you will probably wear out three or four lenses with all the picture taking. I hear photography equipment can be a good deal over there!

Way to go!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Franx, good to hear from you again, thanks and have a great week.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Don, I was thinking of looking for a macro lens, we shall see, for sure be picking up some souvenirs.\m/\m/

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

Excellent. I am also going to Shanghai but at the end of this month, so I will miss the celestial spectacle.

Anyway when I am back I could give you some tips from a tourists perspective.

Meanwhile you may want to follow this blog http://www.iwalku2.com/ about foods one could eat while there. She is from Shanghai.

Bob Johnson said...

That would be awesome L.Venkata Subramaniam, things like power converters, do hotels have electrical outlets that match the American standard 2 prong, I know you need a converter to 220/50 hzt, anything else you could offer would be great, I will check out the site as well more closely, thanks again.\m/\m/

Swubird said...

Bob:

Good for you. I am so envious. China! Your are in for a real treat. Our oldest daughter went there for a few weeks and she had a fabulous time.

That's a great illustration for your post.

Happy trails.

Ruth said...

Hahaha, I loved what you said about that last bit. But yeah, it would be great if you could just sit in the cockpit!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, great your daughter had a good time,I'm thinking the same for me with all I'll be seeing, can hardly wait.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Ruth, will see, maybe they'll let me,lol

Dorothy L said...

Hello Bob...I could absolutely get lost in any one of your photos.
I rarely comment because I am so in awe of your very hypnotic shoots.
So forgive me for that shortcoming.
In any event I have always loved your visuals!
Have a great day!

Cashmere said...

Cool! Tell us more about your trip later and also post some pics or videos of the eclipse.. :)
Like I've said to everybody else, prepare for a culture shock.. ;P

Max said...

Hey Bob!

Oh my God...you are going to China!!!! :D
That is a fantastic total solar eclipse picture!!!! Just gorgeous!

I saw the countdown timer lol...man, you are anxious! So, you will be going on vacations there or are you going on purpose to see this eclipse?

The Terracota warriors have always fascinated me! Well, the imperial China fascinates me...anyway, you will have to tell us all about it :D!

You are afraid of flying? I don't know what to tell you, my friend...I have a friend who is afraid of flying and she takes pills to sleep.

I can't wait for your journey!

By the way, Lord of the Astropics: have you joined SlogBite already? You should, you know...I don't think there is a site like yours in it yet; and it should be! Join us at: www.slogbite.com

I wish you a great week, Bob :D!

Cheers

sparkzspot said...

Hi friend.. Interesting post.. Nice blog work.. keep it up..
will drop by your site often.. Do find time to visit my blog and post your comments..
Have a great day.. Cheers!!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Dorothy for dropping by and commenting, so glad you like the images you find here.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Cashmere, I will be taking lots pf pics and probably have lots of stories to tell, and I can only imagine the culture shock I will be experiencing, should be an adventure to say the least.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Yes Max I am going to be going to China, mostly for the Total Eclipse, but I will be enjoying all that China has to offer, which is lots, ie, The Terra Cotta Warriors, very cool. I am thinking of taking a look at SlogBite, hey you have a great week too Max.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for dropping by Sparkzsopt, I will be wandering over to your spot shortly.\m/\m/

Dr. Lauren said...

I am so jealous. What I wouldn't give to see all of that. You are so lucky

Mizé said...

Hi.
Uau, China must be an amazing trip!
Can´t wait to see the photos too.
Safe journey and try to distract your mind while you´re inside the plain, it works.
Regards, Mizé.

Marvin the Martian said...

I would suggest taking a slowboat. If you leave now, you'll get there in time. And that will take care of your fear of flying. ;-)

You're cheating, of course, by going to where the eclipse can be seen, instead of waiting where you are for it to come to you. ;-P

So, you are going to China! I will be relieved when you come BACK from China.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Dr.Lauren, should be a lot of fun,a visit to China,next best thing to an archeology dig,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Mize, hopefully be able to use sleep as a distraction, get some good knock out pills,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Marvin,I'm so useless, I get seasick, mind you it's better then crashing and burning,lol.

It will be lots of fun, but I will be relieved too when I get back all safe and sound.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Hey Bob, congrats, wow this will be a fun trip. You know few months ago I saw advetising about the trips to see the total solar eclipse, and now I know somone who is going. I almost went to China, but then SARS...I was going to tag along with Domenic on his biz trip - never happened

The closest I was to China was Singapore and Japan, one week each, again biz trip.

So here are some of the tips:
[1] Paranoid of flying, me too...but if you get flight with many change overs it becomes like a bus ride, lol. The Singapore trip was 30 hrs, my husband saving money technique, lol, and we had 4 stops, so on the end I just didn't care.
[2] Get a window seat, you can actaually photograph some amazing views from the window, and may be see a moon too, I did once.
[3] Once you in China, don't be cheap with food, go to good restaurants, unless you don't mind your extra protein [bugs] crawling into your dish, lol. Happened to us! What would you do $2 + bug, or $40 + no bugs, lol.
[4] I know you can get some very cheap designer ties for $2. My friend did, lol.
[5] Don't try to walk the great wall of China as I always wanted to - I thought that it was a short walk, but once I found out that you can see it from space, I realized it wasn't possible, lol.
[6] And last one, by all means please always take the right turns and come back we need you here, lol....

So once you are back from China Bob, I want to see this post: 'I'm Going to Moon', lol. The way you are going Bob with your Astro stuff, I won't be surprised. Once you get over the hump flying to China, flying to the moon should be a piece of cake, lol.

Hey Bob, that was fun post, soon to be reality!

Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, thanks for the great comment and advice!

1. 30 hrs, holy crap, did you say you flew or did you take the car,lol, if so tell me where the bridge is,lol.

2. I don't think I have a choice about where I sit ,all prearranged with the booking company, has it's good and bad points, I hope to be sleeping most of the way, but it would be cool to get a Moon or Halo shot.

3. Definitely $40.00 no bugs,lol. Most our meals are in the package price, hopefully they choose the $40.00 and not the $2.00 meals,lol.

4. Woo Hoo,let me know where for the ties.

5. Lol, hey I'll be walking only part of it, it is an amazing landmark from space, very cool, I'll be taking lots of pics of it.

6.No problem there, they have everything planned out for us, although I do hope to get out myself to look around, will drop bread crumbs so I can find my way back,lol.

How are the prices there? any suggestions for souvenirs?

Lol, I would love to go to the Moon, in space you can't fall down anywhere, because there is no down,lol.

Thanks again for the great advice Anna.\m/\m/

MyKitty said...

Hi, Bob, it's so exciting to hear that you will be going to China in July for the Shanghai Total Eclipse. You have very awesome photos and a very nice blog. You can also visit my blog to have more details of China before you leave.

Moreover, please not just bring more memory cards but also bring a laptop (or netbook) together with a large memory potable hard drive (500G or even more) to download all your beautiful pics. I usually do this when I travel.

If you had a chance to go to Peking, please also visit the "Bird Cage" and the "Water Cube". My friends told me that those architecture are amazing and I'm planning for a trip there in June.

Looking forward to see your beautiful photos and wishing you a very enjoyable trip!

Cheers! :)

MyKitty

Nancy J Locke said...

Bob, you're going to CHINA to see the total eclipse!!! I can't WAIT to see the pics!!! You must tell us how this trip came about. I'm soooo excited for you. :D

What a super post and photos!!!

I visit with the passengers around me when I fly and that helps more than anything. People are sooo interesting to get to know.

A friend of mine visited China a year ago. I'll ask for some sightseeing tips.

Blessings! Nancy J

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks MyKitty, I will be checking out your site for useful info, love the pictures you have. I will be taking my laptop as well, I'm hoping they have wireless somewhere over there so I can blog.\m/\m/

Dorothy L said...

Have a fantastic trip. Anyone I have ever talked to that has tripped over to China had an amazing time.
Safe journey!

~D~

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, that would be great, I usually talk with my wife who this time won't be going, so hopefully I'll have someone to talk to, if I'm awake that is,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Dorothy, I'm sure I'll have a super time too, if I can only get by the flying problem now.\m/\m/

Ivanhoe said...

Oh my, Bob, that is beyond cool! I'm so happy for you :o)
I don't mind flying, I actually enjoy it so there is no advice from me on that one. The head phones & drugs should do it though ;o)

KindleDude said...

That will be an awesome experience!

Nanda said...

Thank you for writing this article. After reading everything, I get the benefit.

Regard

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, hey if you like flying so much, ya wanna come with, you could repeat, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean to me over and over again, just to reassure me,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi KindleDude, it sure should be, looking forward to it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Nanda, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

green not mean said...

Wow I really loved those pics!

iWalk said...

Welcome to China!

I went to Beijing more than 15 times, But there are still many places I didn't visit!

But, Have a great journey!

Meryl said...

have a safe trip.
by the way, you have a nice site here..

hope u could visit my site too.thanks

Genie said...

I don't envy you that flight one single bit. I hope you have an understanding doctor who doesn't mind writing you a few happy pills for the flight there and back.

Flying has never bothered me, but I've never been on a plane for more than a few hours. Longer than that and I'd need chemical assistance to get through it.

But the destination would be SO worth it! I'm so excited for you!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks alot iWalk.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Meryl, and I will visit your site.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot green not mean!!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, hey thanks Genie, I will make sure I get my fair share of happy pills.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Hey Bob I tried, lol. Let see if I can clarify few things :).

1. 30 hrs, holy crap, did you say you flew or did you take the car,lol, if so tell me where the bridge is,lol.
I say: no bridge lol, yeah flying

2. I don't think I have a choice about where I sit ,all prearranged with the booking company, has it's good and bad points, I hope to be sleeping most of the way, but it would be cool to get a Moon or Halo shot.
I say: hey Bob you never know sometimes there are nice people on the plane, lol, just put out nice smiles or take your camera and point at the window. Two things will happen, either someone will offer you a window seat, or they will knock you out to the ground thinking you are trying to take the plane down, lol.
3. Definitely $40.00 no bugs,lol. Most our meals are in the package price, hopefully they choose the $40.00 and not the $2.00 meals,lol.
I say: Hopefully, or if they are trying to make good profits on you, get ready for extra protein, lol.
4. Woo Hoo,let me know where for the ties.
I say: Probably on one of those open black markets, carry cash with you and negotiate, because I am sure you will be able to bring it down to $1. Or what the heck just go to the dollar store in Canada, lol.
5. Lol, hey I'll be walking only part of it, it is an amazing landmark from space, very cool, I'll be taking lots of pics of it.
I say: Oh may be satellite camera will take a photo of you. Kidding aside, it is amazing to walk on this man made landmark.
6.No problem there, they have everything planned out for us, although I do hope to get out myself to look around, will drop bread crumbs so I can find my way back,lol.
I say: The same friend that bought $2 ties lived in Montreal. She is Chinese, and she actually used stickers to move around Montreal. I think that was really funny. She is cool lady though.
7. How are the prices there? any suggestions for souvenirs?
Bob think if the price of made in China is cheap, cannot get any cheaper in China, lol. For good price you can get probably some designer stuff if you are into, electronics I wouldn't know, for souvenirs - may be jade stone and Buddha figurines, lol, I really don't know Bob. I suck if comes to shopping. But don't be afraid to negotiate and carry cash.

Hope a bit of my humor will help you with your trip lol.

Have a good night,
Anna :)

Peter said...

Hi! Do you want someone to carry your bags while you're over there, as I'm free and come real cheap!

Take Care,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Anna

1. To bad no bridge, I'd just as soon drive,lol.

2. Lol.

3. Thanks for the heads up, I do like protein and Survivor,lol.

4. Lol, I like negotiating, and will be bringing cash.

5. I can hardly wait to walk on The Great Wall, very cool.

6. Cool.

7. Thanks for the suggestions, my wife does like jade and Buddhas.

Thanks so much for all your help Anna, hey only 117 days 15 hours 49 minutes and 26 seconds to go but who's counting,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Peter, I'll keep you in mind.\m/\m/

Sadia Hussain said...

Sure sounds exciting Bob! Have seen an eclipse on a screen never live, and am sure it must be an awesome feeling. Wish you a safe trip and look forward to some more great pictures.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much Sadia, I will be taking lots of pictures, and it will be quite the experience to see it live.\m/\m/

GAGAY said...

hola mr. bob..it's been a while since haven't visited yah here..been so busy.. :)

Maria said...

I've always wanted to visit the far east. How exciting.

BTW, I have an award for you on my site.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey GAYGAY good to see you again.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Maria for the award, I am really looking forward to going to China, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. \m/\m/

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

I got back from China. Here are some tips:

1. voltage is 240 V so you will need converters to use US appliances that work on 110 V

2. Electrical sockets in China do not match the US sockets. However, most hotels have points that take US plugs. You will need to check with your hotel before going.

3. Language is a big issue, most people cannot speak English. However, most people want to be helpful. For taxi drivers you will need to show them written directions (in Chinese). Your hotel staff should be able to help you write in Chinese.

4. If you go shopping, bargain and bargain some more. Usually the giving price is half the quoted price.

Omega said...

Hi Bob,
Congratulations on your trip to China, this must be very exciting - solar eclipse while visiting the great wall! I'll make sure to check out your photos when you come back. As to the fear of flying - sleeping is the best thing, i guess. I have a more complicated problem sometimes - :blacksmile: i get nervous while flying and i have fear of pills as well, so i can't take anything before the flight.

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