A small history lesson. That is what makes being here so cool, it all comes together, Marco Polo, Genghis Kahn, the Ming Dynasty, me, I will explain the connections. We just spent a three days in Hangzhou, about 2 hours from here on a 100mph high speed train. It’s a lot like Lake of the Isles, but this has mountains down to the lake, pagodas, water gardens, and misty islands.
Hangzhou’s history starts between 50,000 years to the Upper Paleolithic. By 1100AD, there were over a million people living here.
The Grand Canal was built (581-618 A.D., today still operating and the longest hand built canal on the planet) between Beijing and Hangzhou.
Hangzhou is famous for its silk production, unusual colored pearls and the gateway to the farm land of China.
The Mongols from the north led by Genghis Kahn and later his grand son Kublai Khan successfully “unified” China and he became Emperor of China. In 1279, The national capital of China was moved to Beijing.
Marco Polo arrived in Hangzhou shortly thereafter. Marco Polo saw Hangzhou and called it “..heaven on earth, there is not a city on earth to compare”.
A peasant rose up and raised an army and with his son finally defeated the Mogul’s, around 1297, and started the Ming Dynasty and built the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Sometime thereafter I, the great Mario and Elizabeth the Queen arrive and begin to teach English in Shanghai. This story will continue.
Some recent photography from Hangzhou. Bridge in Hangzhou
We took off for the country side for a 3-4 days, actually to a city that is considered one of the most beautiful cities in China, Marco Polo was here, and said it is one of the most beautiful cities he had ever seen. We did not try the internet there. The place reminds me of Minneapolis a little, lakes and gardens, but the lakes have these beautiful misty hills surrounding them, with large pagodas on the mountains, they ring bells at night, that carries thru the mist, large Buddhist temples and complexs, as big as a college campus, with dormitories for the monks, and 1000′s of visitors a day come to see the Buddhas, and pray, and be tourists. We hardly ever see a Western tourist. Water gardens with many small shrines, this place is an artist paradise. We took the train there, that got up to 170km/h, I have to look that up, but it seemed fast.
So Bill, we are back to our apartment, and our computer, and I took some awesome photos and did some magical drawings, that I have to refine and get ready to post on the new web.
Thanks again for setting this up. I am currious how the WM are doing?
Tell everyone, I miss them, and wish they were all here to take some of this in. I still get excited everyday being here, it hasn’t got old yet, and the beer is good.