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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beautiful China, Part 1

Today, I just wanted to share some pictures of the natural beauty I experienced in China. As I'm thinking about it in my head, I don't think there'll be a lot number-wise, but the things I did see were beautiful. Most of you will have seen these pictures before, but I wanted to put them all in one series of post that would make it easier for you guys to find them.

Mountains. China is full of them. It would be impossible to do a blog post about China's beauty and not talk about mountains. There's just something about them that stirs something deep within us.

(Mountains surrounding the Great Wall at Mutianyu)

The Great Wall was one of my favorite places not only for the history of it, but for the natural beauty that surrounds it on literally every side. It's just beyond words. 

Even though this was intended as a military location to protect from enemy invasion, it can't be denied that it's seriously beautiful. 

This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

I'd take mountains over the beach any day. You? would.
Now for a drastic change in environments. 

 We are now entering the mountainous deserts of the Northwest - specifically Gansu Province and Ningxia. Map here.

Just imagine nothing for as far as you can see......


Just mountains covered with desert scrub for miles and miles.....

somehow, people manage to do some kind of farming.And now - another change!

Now we've arrived at the Temple of Heaven Park. It's not exactly in the mountains or plains of's in downtown Beijing. But if you go on a day without a lot of tourists, it's a nice place.

The trees are green and lush,

the walkways are empty and beautiful in their loneliness, and they are good places to sit and think about what you've seen and done and how that's brought you here.

Like I said, beautiful in its loneliness.

A beautifully lonely place is a hard place to find in China - so much of it is crowded and characterized by the go-go-go attitude of city life.

But once in a while, you can find find that solitude and wrap yourself in it.

But we can't forget the beauty of people and the innocence of childhood. Although solitude is sometimes desirable, you cannot forget the beauty of humanity. Like that billboard I saw, "The earth is surrounded by your beauty."
A Lanzhou sunset on the Yellow River. What a way to end a day, isn't it? 

That's the end of Part 1 - be back with Part 2 as soon as possible!

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