by Brent Gill
September 5, 2006
An explanation and prologue to a series of article containing text from e-mails written about our trip to China.
One of many beautiful garden spots we visited. This is at Lingering Gardens in Souzhou.
Another peaceful spot in one of the many beautiful gardens. This was in Shanghai.
Ornate roof in one section of The Forbidden City. Gold is the color of the Emperor.
From high up on The Great Wall of China. Note that the upper left corner shows a piece of the parking lot.
Floating serenely on the surface of West Lake in Hangzhou.
The rocks and pagoda so typical in Chinese gardens. This was also in Shanghai.
These are a series of e-mails sent to a group of friends and family while we were on our recent trip to China. They are edited only to make them either easier to understand, or to correct an error.
Our trip started early Monday morning, July 17, 2006 and ended in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 25, 2006.
My computer is like my right arm, so it absolutely had to go with us. My carry-on bag was my computer bag, complete with cables, and power supply. The computer is a laptop Mac PowerBook G4.
One of the handiest features of the camera and the computer is the ability to take pictures all day, then connect to the computer in the room and dump all the pictures onto my hard drive. This allowed my CD card to start every day empty, and my battery fully charged.
My camera is a Sony SD-10 with a 256 MB SD card inside. This is a 4 Megapixel camera, and with the 256 MB card I can take over 200 full density images. However, I found that to do that, anything over about 150 pictures required a second battery, which I eventually purchased in Shanghai.
There will be mention several times of “uploading pictures” to a web site, or reference to pictures uploaded. This is the Kodak site which was chosen for no particular reason other than that is where I started storing pictures. It is certainly not an endorsement, just an explanation.
Every evening I was able to connect to the internet in the hotel, bring up the web site, and start uploading digital images. Some days there were only 75 or so, while one day there were over 175. Each of these images were 1.1 to 1.8 MB in size, so the uploading time was often forty-five minutes or more.
By the time I was ready to upload, I was usually dog-tired. The normal procedure was to start the pictures uploading, then go on to bed. After an hour or more I would get up and complete the process by sharing the day’s pictures with the same group that got the e-mails.
As you will read, I wrote every day about our adventures. Sometimes I would write a little in the morning, then write more at night. And often I had more time in the morning while my wife got ready, after I had gotten some much-needed sleep.
Our tour was fast, and persistent. We often saw 3-4 things in the morning, lunch, then 3-4 more in the afternoon. Some times it was only two features, but it was never leisurely, as you will read.
The things we learned, the customs we absorbed, I will try to explain as we go along. But, to fully explain all we saw, learned, felt and experienced would take much more than I want to present here.
I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading along with us. Each successive Chapter will be presented one per business day.
They will begin tomorrow, as we did the final packing at home.
Brent and Sharon Gill