Here's our travel summary, memories that stand out, and a few interesting pictures that Doug took while we were there. I'm sure I'll be adding things to the "memories" part of this post over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime you can read the day-by-day details and see some of the many photos I took in the preceding posts (click on the link).
12/21/11: Train from Bridgeport, CT to 125th Street Station, M30 bus to LaGuardia, flights to O'Hare and then Beijing, short night of sleep. LINK
12/22/11: skipped due to crossing the international date line I think. LINK
12/23/11: bus to train, train to Qingdao, bus to hotel, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/24/11: daytime free, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/25/11: early bus to airport, flight to Dalian, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/26/11: bus to Jinzhou, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/27/11: bus to Chaoyang, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, overnight bus to Beijing LINK
12/28/11: flight to Shenzhen, bus to hotel, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/29/11: short bus ride to Guangzhou, lunch, free time, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/30/11: bus to airport, all day flight to Shenyang, bus to hotel, dinner, sleep. LINK
12/31/11: morning sightseeing, dumplings, afternoon walking, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK #1 LINK #2 LINK #3
01/01/12: very early bus to train station, train to Beijing, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
01/02/12: day off in Beijing!!! LINK
01/03/12: very early bus to airport, flight to Xi'an, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK
01/04/12: bus to Terra Cotta Warriors and back, afternoon in Xi'an, evening flight to Beijing, bus to hotel. LINK #1 LINK #2
01/05/12: early bus to airport, flight from Beijing to Chicago, then LaGuardia, M30 bus to Harlem, train to Bridgeport, car to Trumbull. LINK
Favorite things about the trip include playing the concerts, the excellent orchestra full of outstanding musicians and wonderful people, the fabulous conductor, the interesting and delicious banquets that we had night after night, seeing a lot of the non-touristy parts of China in addition to some of the major sights, and getting to know some of the people who lived in all of the many different places we visited. But the highlight of each day for me was playing the concert. I love making music with these people. It was a wonderful experience that I would have enjoyed no matter where we were playing.
I have new appreciation for the rather posh existence we have back here in the USA, especially for our high standards of cleanliness, the relatively unpolluted air, drinkable tap water, and normal toilets. These are all things that are very easy to take for granted. Now I feel lucky to have them. And those are just some of the superficial things. There are an awful lot of far more important things from this trip that I observed, learned from, and am still digesting. I may or may not discuss these things in future posts.
A couple of the other orchestra members are blogging about our experiences as well. I've really enjoyed hearing about the trip from their perspective - it's very cool the way their memories enhance my own. Here are some links to those blogs:
From "Symphony Now"
Notes from the Viola Section
And here are a few of Doug's favorite photos that he took while we were there:
|Some people are still using a good old donkey to get around.|
|cell phone tree|
|It kind of looks like he took his bike to go shopping at Ikea.|
|Is this a three-wheeled car, or some kind of deluxe motorcycle?|
|Pretending to look horrified - No, I did NOT eat that chicken head!|
|halfway through one of our many banquets, can't remember which one.|