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June 2, 2009

Pictures from Sunday

Going up
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At the top - it took about 40 minutes at a somewhat leisurely pace - it was hot and we were out late
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Coming back down
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At the Summer Palace - pretty nice cabin - it is good to be king
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View from the top of the Summer Palace - keep in mind this lake is man-made and the hill the palace is on was made from the dirt that was dug out to make the lake
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The Bird's Nest at the Olympic Village
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The Water Cube where Phelps made history
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Some other random pictures
The Health Officials on the Plane as we landed in China
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Saturday night we hung out at Quihai Lake in Beijing - as mentioned earlier it would be like the Minneapolis lakes with bars all around it - a couple of us took out a paddle boat - here are some pictures
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June 1, 2009

Back in Shanghai

Monday, June 1, 2009
Today was a pretty mellow day. In the morning we had some group collaboration work and then the Mayor of a town about 120 km west of Shanghai came to speak with us. The town is Liyang. It is an industrial town with about 800,000 people (that is about the size of Minneapolis and St. Paul combined). The interesting thing was he did not speak English so he had an interpreter for his presentation. You certainly realize the importance of speaking the same language.

After our morning meetings, it was time to get to work on our group project. We spent the afternoon putting the presentation together and then went out to West Nanjing Road to do some more surveys. Toward the end of our time, the Mall Security Guards were beginning to follow us to see what we are doing. We did not want to get in any trouble so we left for the night.

As I sit in my hotel room getting you all up to date on my trip - the home-sickness is starting to settle in. I have now been away from Ami, Maddie and Jack for 10 days now and I can’t wait to see them. Due to the time difference and schedules, I have not spoken to Jack for 2-3 days. I was able to Skype with Maddie on Sunday morning which helped. It also does not help that much of this week is to be spent on our projects so there is a lot of free time. It would be best if I was busy to make the time go faster.

The good news is I will be home in less than 5 days and can’t wait to see everybody.

The Great Wall of China

Sunday, May 31, 2009
We got back to the hotel on early Sunday morning after hanging out at the Kokomo and having our cab driver get lost on the way back to the hotel. He did not know where the hotel was and we were not able to communicate with him. Eventually we made it – it was quite the adventure.

We had to be up bright and early to hit the road for our last day in Beijing. Our first stop was The Great Wall. We stopped in Juyanging which is about 80 km (50 miles) outside of Beijing. The Great Wall is over 4,000 miles long so there are many places to see it. The place we went was a pretty intense walk up a very steep hill. It was a beautiful and hot day with bright blue skies so we could see for miles when we got to the top. By the time we headed down, it was pretty crowded so I was glad that we got their early.

After The Great Wall, our next stop was the Summer Palace. This was the summer resort for the Emperor and was built during the Ming Dynasty in the 1400’s. Think of it as the Emperor’s cabin. The lake you see is man-made. The Emperor had it built and all the dirt put on the one of the lake to make a big hill on which the palace was built. The walk around the palace was beautiful. There was also a street that was built just for the Emperor to go shopping. It is nice to be the King!

Our next stop was the Olympic Village. We walked to the Plaza and saw the Bird’s Nest (where they had the opening and closing ceremonies) and the Water Cube (where all the swimming took place). We were not able to go inside anywhere – we just walked around a little bit and then headed for the airport. We were very dirty and tired and were looking forward to getting back to Shanghai.

We arrived back on time and got to our hotel and went right to bed.

NOTE: I will add some pictures tomorrow morning when I have a better internet connection.