Now that my daughter's wedding is complete, my next major point of focus will be the final preparations for my Total Solar Eclipse tour of China, only 23 days away.
I should mention here that the wedding was a complete success, a good time was had by all and everything went like clockwork, boils down to good organization and the tons of work my wife put into it, even picking out my suit and tie. Even the weather co-operated, if my trip to China goes the same way I'll be a happy camper.
The major contributing factor to a good trip will of course be the weather, if cloudy skies, no see eclipse, having said that even with no Solar Eclipse I will still be in China, what a remarkable place to visit, so rich in history and tons of cool things to do and see.
I have bought lots of books on China since first deciding on doing the tour and have learned a lot about this fascinating place, such as;
-China's climate ranges from sub-arctic in the north to tropical in the south.
-China straddles 5 time zones but has adopted UTC, (Coordinated Universal Time), which is Greenwich Mean Time + 8 hours.
-China has the world's oldest continuous civilization dating back 8,000 years.
-China has the longest continuously used written language system in the world.
-Chinese astronomers were the first to record a meteor shower in 2133 BC. and a Solar Eclipse in 1217 BC.
-Over a million prisoners, peasants and soldiers were used to build the Great Wall of China. It took over 1700 years to build and stretches 1500 miles, and I'll be seeing it live and in person.
-Many religions are practiced in China; Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Heaven worship, Chinese folk religion, Christianity, and several other new religions and sects.
-The Chinese language has over 20,000 characters.
- Chinese invented the first ice cream in the 7th century.
- The Chinese actually invented a lot of cool things, gunpowder, rockets and fireworks, printing, books, papermaking and paper money, the abacus, stirrups, wheelbarrows, seismometers, porcelain, silk, the compass and kites. The kite was used for military purposes, spying or carrying messages.
-China's name came from the Qin Dynasty, (pronounced chin).
Somehow this whole going to China seems so surreal to me still, me...... who is so afraid of flying and an introvert.........is going off to China by myself, what am I thinking? It is kind of liberating to be able to tackle so many of my fears at one time, like I'm taking control of my life and doing what I want and not letting the phobias take control of me.
I'm going to leave you now with a You Tube video of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, one of my stops on my surreal tour.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Posted by Bob Johnson at 7:47 PM