Travel with Jan Weekly Digest

Travel with Jan Weekly Digest

Helsinki: Summer Sun

Helsinki

Finland

August 12, 2014

Hei,

Many years ago I had an American-Hungarian friend.  She insisted that Hungarian was “different” and resembled no other language in Europe.  Since I was a young man who thought he already knew everything, I doubted my friend’s characterization of her language.

Hungary lies in the middle of Central Europe.  Certainly the language is in some way similar to her neighbors’.   Surely Hungarian is related to Slovakian Slavic, or Romanian Romance, or Austrian Germanic?

Well I was dead wrong!

Baishui: White Water Terraces 白水台

Baishuitai Terraces

Yunnan Province

People’s Republic of China

June 4, 2014

Dear Friends,

Can you imagine my shock, when after a lengthy and strenuous hike, my driver holding my arm to provide support as we climbed up and up and up the “wobbly” steps and up and up and up the steep gravel path (I was dizzy from the heat and the thin air) I finally arrived at the White-Water travertine terraces and asked breathlessly, “Have I returned to Turkey?  Have I returned to Pamukkale?”

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Yunnan Province

China

June 4, 2014

Dear Friends,

Are you familiar with the Chinese adage attributed to Confucius?

一圖勝萬言

Perhaps you studied the sage words of Napoleon?

“Une image vaut mille mots.”

It is believed by some that the modern use of the phrase stems from an article by Fred R. Barnard in the advertising trade journal Printers’ Ink, promoting the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars. The December 8, 1921 issue carries an ad entitled, "One Look is Worth A Thousand Words."

Lijiang Prefecture: Monks in the Trees

Monks in the Trees

On the Road in Lijiang Prefecture

Yunnan Province

China

June 2, 2014

Dear Friends,

Significant portions of western Yunnan were once part of Tibet.  Consequently, Tibet monasteries or Lamaseries are scattered around the province.

On the road from Lijiang to Tiger Leaping Gorge, we made a detour deep into the hills to visit the active Yufeng Lamasery.

One expects to find monks or lamas at work or at study.  And like elsewhere in the Buddhist world, young novice monks are also at study or at play.  Here we found the cheerful and energetic young boys exercising and climbing in the trees.

Lijiang: The Old Town and Market

Lijiang

Yunnan Province

People’s Republic of China

Elevation 2400m 7900 ft.

June 2, 2014

Dear Friends and Fellow Travelers,

I can never resist a market.  Can you?  Always lively, colorful and surprising, the market is a core element of daily life.  What is more essential than food, clothing and household goods?   And what is more fun? 

So after our early morning stroll through the Old Town of Lijiang that included an invitation to a tea ceremony, my guide Illian and I head over to the main market.  I took about “a thousand” photos, and finally stocked up on a half kilo of fresh, sweet green plums for the ride ahead.

Dali: Goddess of Mercy Temple and Erhai Lake

Dali

Yunnan Province

China

Elevation 2007m – 6585 ft

Population 652,000

June 1, 2013

Dear Friends,

Dali is attacked - The enemy is at the gates!  Will Dali survive?

At the entrance to the Goddess of Mercy Temple just south of Dali Old Town, a stone-carved mural depicts the potential battle.  

Ilian provides the details of the legend.

Ilian is a big man.  A very big man.  Illian’s grandfather was a tailor, a farmer and a wrestler.  Apparently, Illian inherited his grandfather’s skills, his traditional values and his physique.

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