If I had had audio capability to enhance my blog, I would have inserted the Beatles song “In My Life” as the leader to this post. Its melancholy tone would have been apropos to my sentiment at the moment.
With this last official post to my blog, I wanted to share my thoughts on how fun, challenging, and rewarding it has been during my travels for 68 days around the world with myself and others. It has raced past and seldom felt lonely, particularly with the focus on sharing at least one event each day.
Having the blog felt the same as when you flick the TV on at home after a long day at the office. It’s comforting to hear the background noise as if others are in the room with you. Only at rare moments did I feel that I was communicating with outer space (anybody there? Any body??)
In any event, we are at the end of my adventure. It has been nothing less than a thrill. I’ve met some terrific people–Vladimir, Karen, and Meilina from my German class; the driver and guides in Uzbekistan; Morten in Emei Shan; and old friends Peter, Cordelia, and George from Hong Kong.
I tried my best to keep the pace on this travel magazine moving, not too heavy or intellectual, and fill the posts with timely information as I became more experienced in formatting more visuals.
My apologies again for any technical difficulties born in part by Google’s agreement with China and other conditions beyond my control. And pardon the caps being cumbersome and captions not aligning with pictures. I will have a word with the graphics department about its performance.
Since I am traveling back to San Francisco today, I’m recapping my trip through the panorama shots (not in any particular order) in case you missed them in the headers.
Photos, top to bottom:
1. Registan Square, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
A UNESCO world heritage site, Registan Square represents 3 complexes known as Madrassahs: Ulugbek, Sher-Dor, and Tilla-Kari. The first one was built in the 15th century, followed by the latter two in the 17th. Madrassahs were the Islamic center of higher education for boys, who studied there for a period of 10 to 20 years. While the main purpose was to learn the Koran, other disciplines were taught at the request of each student.
2. Kalyan Mosque, Bokhara, Uzbekistan
The Kalyan Mosque is one of the outstanding monuments of Bukhara, dating back to the fifteenth century. The original Karakhanid Djuma Mosque was destroyed by fire and dismantled, apparently at the time of the Mongolian invasion. It was rebuilt, but only to be replaced by a new mosque in the fifteenth century.
Under Temur, the construction of monumental buildings was concentrated in Samarkand and Shahrisabz. However, under Ulughbek, the powerful clergy of Bukhara initiated the construction of a new Djuma Mosque on the site of the old one.
The layout of the Djuma Mosque (named the Kalyan Mosque) is traditional: a rectangular courtyard with a tall and large maksura room on the west side. Each of the courtyard axes has a large ayvan and the perimeter of the courtyard is built up with pillar-domed galleries (there are 208 pillars and 288 domes). The maksura is square and has deeply recessed niches on the transverse axis and a mihhrab on the main axis. Slabbing is typical for the early fifteenth century,-an octahedron of arched pendentives supports a vaulted inner dome and is capped by a spherical blue outer dome upon a drum. This structure still dominates the skyline of Bukhara.
Construction of the mosque was completed in 1514.
3. The Ark, Bokhara, Uzbekistan
4. Dresden Altstadt
5. Konigstein, Germany
6. Chengdu from Fraser Suites Hotel
7. Gaocheng, Turpan, China
8. Urumqi, China
9. Hong Kong MTR
10. Guangzhou Civic Center
11. Chengdu Railway Station
12. Top of Emei Shan, Chengdu
Call or email me if we have been out of touch during this time. I have lots of time and would love to hear from you.
Auf Wiedersehen, Zai Jian, and can’t wait to see Gee Kin, Melissa, and Julianne! Time to get back to the Real World!
December 23,2014 Update: For latecomers to this blog, I am reposting the panorama photos from my last posting on Day 68. In addition to those above, I am adding a few bonus panoramas that come from travels immediately prior to or after my world trip July-September.
The original 10 posted above are between July 21 and September 26, 2014.
I am adding the following additional trips, all taken this year:
2. Dresden, Germany (May, 2014–see #4 above panorama taken from this trip)
4. Sacramento, CA (November, 2014)–see my movie on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vVEX9eR0Gs
For the latecomers, go to the index posted on Day 80 of my trip for the locations of my travels.
I’m looking forward to traveling in 2015 with you! There will be a few surprises in store, so stay tuned…Happy Holidays, Froehliche Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, and 再见!