Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas from Sandy

This will be a very different Christmas for me. I will actually be working on Christmas Day. Besides work, I have not yet made any special plans for the day. I know that I will be thinking of all of my good friends and my family. I will take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas!!

Christmas on Campus

Christmas on the Campus is pretty low key. A tree has been decorated outside of the main cafeteria. The students make wishes and attach them to the tree.

Christmas at the Local Shops

As you can see from the next photos, Christmas is starting to become popular at least in a commercial sense, here in China.

Christmas in Fuzhou

The other night, I headed into town with my camera in hand. I took a few photos of Fuzhou at night. Here are a couple of photos of one of the local pagodas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gulang Yu at Night

Here are a few photos taken after the sun went down. One looking back at Gulang Yu from Xiamen. The others taken as we wandered along one of the main shopping streets in Xiamen. We were lucky enough to pass this group of traditional musicians putting on a concert in the heart of downtown. Interesting instruments and beautiful sounding songs!

Skyline of Xiamen

Here are a couple of pictures of the skyline of Xiamen. These were taken from Gulang Yu.

Zheng Chenggong

One of the great attractions on Gulang Yu is the statue of Zheng Chenggong. This statue overlooks the strait that separates the island from Xiamen. It is almost 16 m tall, is made out of 625 pieces of granite, and weighs close to 1400 tons. Here are a couple of photos of this impressive structure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wading in the Water

I always enjoy putting my feet in the water when I visit different locations. I couldn't resist the temptation here. This cute little boy was keen to have his photo taken with me on the beach on Gulang Yu. Here also, is another photo of my friend Albert (Mau You Jun)and me with Sunlight Rock in the background.

Sunlight Rock

Here is a photo of me at the top of Sunlight Rock.

Colonial Buildings

Here are some photos of the Colonial Building found on the island.

Gulang Yu

One of the highlights of my trip to Xiamen was taking the ferry across to Gulang Yu. Gulang Yu is sometimes referred to as "Piano Island". (Many of China's most celebrated musicians have come from Gulang Yu.) It has many colonial mansions, nice beaches, statues, parks and quaint streets to wander around. It also has Sunlight Rock which, once you have hiked to the top, gives you a great view of the island as well as Xiamen.

Coffee Time

Albert (Mao You Jun), his brother Alex (Mao You Li), and I stopped by a small coffee shop for a break and some delicious coffee. Very pleasant sitting outside at this time of year!!

Xiamen University

Our next stop was Xiamen University. The University Campus is right beside the ocean. Like the University I am teaching at, this campus is also very lovely. Here are a few of the photos I took.

Xiamen International Marathon

Xiamen has an International Marathon each Spring. It has the reputation of being one of the most picturesque Marathon's in the world. Like the Royal Victoria Marathon, much of the route is along the water. A series of life like statues pay tribute to this event. Here are a few photos to give you a taste. (If I can keep my running up, I am considering attempting the half-marathon here in the Spring?!)

Waterfront and Foreshore Park

On Saturday we headed out exploring and seeing the many sights Xiamen has to offer. A short distance from Alex's apartment is the ocean. Our first stop was at the International Conference and Exhibition Center. A gorgeous foreshore walkway has been developed along the waterside in this area. (In some ways it reminds me of the Dallas Road Area in Victoria. One big difference, however, is that in Xiamen, we were able to be in our short sleeves at the end of November!!) We had a beautiful, warm day for our stroll.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The King Arrives


On our first night in Xiamen, Alex took us to a local Opera performance. The costumes were amazing and, because it was a small venue, I was able to get some very good photos of the performers.