Lanzhou Panorama

2 10 2008

I finally managed to stitch together a pano that I shot in Lanzhou from my hotel room.

The composite image is composed of 13 frames taken in manual exposure mode and rotated handheld.  Missing sky was cloned in and there’s some duplication in the bottom right corner 😉

Here’s the 2.5MP larger version and the 65MP REALLY HUGE 12.8MB one

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A quick picture from our night outing to downtown Lanzhou

29 09 2008

There’s more to write about and tell, but I thought you’d enjoy this picture from our Friday outing to downtown Lanzhou, before our Saturday a.m. departure..

Hot Stuff!

While walking the downtown streets of Lanzhou, China we came across a side street full of food vendors selling all kinds of Chinese delicacies. Many involved oil and the resultant show was very interesting:

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Wet, Rainy Lanzhou

25 09 2008

We had a day off yesterday (Thursday) while waiting for some parts.  We headed downtown and up to “White Pagoda Moutain”.  I think it probably hovered around 13C in the downtown and around 10C up on the mountain.  It was NOT tourism weather.

We made the best of it and had fun just getting to a different part of the city. 

I’ve added a LOT of pictures from the outing to my Lanzhou album on my Fotothing.  Check it out and enjoy the virtual visit.  Remember – the photos start from the beginning of my trip… go to the next page to see more recent shots! http://www.fotothing.com/albums.php?action=viewphotos&albumid=3111

Here’s the Zhongshan Bridge over the Yellow River with downtown Lanzhou in the background





Spending time in China

21 09 2008

I’m in China again for work.  I arrived here back on Sunday.  The next few posts will be a bit of a journal.

Saturday/Sunday:

I flew out on AC029 on Saturday.  I particularly chose that flight as Air Canada has put seat back Video on Demand and seat back power into some of their planes and AC029 was one of those planes.  The plane was about 50% full only so I ended up with an aisle seat next to an empty window seat.  Perfect.  I turned the little area into my own little space.  I had my laptop set up on the tray next to me, while being able to eat and view video on my own tray/seat.  The flight was about 11 hours to get to Beijing.  During that time I watched “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “88 minutes”.  Both movies were quite good.  The earphones I had brought for listening, unfortunately, had one not working.  It turned out alright as I let my head rest on the right side with the earbud in my left ear.  Sort of half listening/half sleeping.

I arrived in Beijing at the International arrivals.  They shuttle you to your luggage via a train.  Once there, I picked up my bags and cleared customs, happy that I had no visa grief.  My next challenge was to find my way to the domestic terminal and get checked into my flight with China East Airlines to Lanzhou.   The airport staff were very helpful and professional, directing me to my shuttle bus.  The bus ride over to the domestic terminal actually took about 10-15 minutes – I’m glad I wasn’t trying to connect to a tight flight connection!  I got to the check in desk for China Eastern and felt a bit comfortable as I recognized it from when we traveled from Beijing to HK a couple of years ago.  Finally, something recognizable.  First roadblock… English at the counter.  I wanted to know if my colleague had checked in yet.  I asked in English and was met with a blank stare and a bunch of Mandarin.  She did, however find a coworker who could help me and we determined that he checked in and that I could get a seat next to him – Good.  I walked down through security and was grilled a bit about my name (go figure) and then let pass. It was weird.  Upon making my way to the lounge, it was pretty obvious who my Australian colleague was…. the BIG white guy.  He stands 6’4” tall.  Hard to miss in a crowd of Asians.

The flight from Beijing to Lanzhou was VERY bumpy.  I think we had turbulence for about 90% of the trip.  This compounded the fact that China Eastern doesn’t exactly have much leg room – nothing like being strapped in and not able to stretch out.  We arrived a bit early (perhaps it was a tail wind that made it so bumpy?) at 1930 and our Lanzhou colleague was there to meet us.  We grabbed a cab and headed into the hotel on a ride that would take about an hour and take us through mountains, along deserted expressways and onto bumpy roads under construction that made you long for the turbulence of the plane.   

Upon arrival at the hotel, we got our rooms and settled the deposit.  They wanted a small fortune for a deposit.  Almost CAD1000 preauth on a credit card.  We settled into our rooms and went down to the Chinese restaurant for dinner.  No love.  It was closed already.  We headed down to the cafe and had a very tasty curried beef… We were tired… Off to bed.





The Poker Game

20 09 2008

A common sidewalk activity for the senior men is playing poker using a chinese domino deck of cards.  While it may be a bit intense, it certainly becomes a group affair pretty quickly with everyone pitching in ideas as to what the players should have done.

Here’s a game that I felt had some real characters playing





Lanzhou Market Photos

20 09 2008

My apologies to those of you with a slow link, but there’s not to much to write about day to day (I’ll probably come up with some sort of summary though)  I carry my camera around whenever I go walking with the hope that I’ll keep catching the day to day life in Lanzhou.

Chestnuts roasting at the market

An old lady selling apples along the road – she gratefully posed for me

Sidewalk poker game (you can see the curiosity of the two guys in the very back – wondering why two white guys would be photographing a card game)

Squash vendor picking a good one for his client
 

After seeing me shoot the squash vendor, this watermelon vendor was more than happy to pose with his wares

This tofu vendor was encouraged to smile by the other vendors around him.  He was shy at first but then opened up with a big bright smile
 

Farmer negotiating prices with a prospective client

 

My entire Lanzhou photo album can be seen at: http://www.fotothing.com/albums.php?action=viewphotos&albumid=3111

 

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Some more photos from Lanzhou

19 09 2008

Well, I managed to get out and shoot a few more scenes…

Seeds for sale at the market tonight

All the tea in China?

These trucks are near our office.  One of them isn’t likely to be travelling any time soon 🙂

A canal in Lanzhou.  It hasn’t seen water for a years. I’m guessing it’s because they’ve been drawing water from the yellow river for agriculture to the point where the water levels are too low to flow in the canals anymore 😦

Open air night eateries are common around the area.   I’m not quite brave enough to try the food, but it is interesting.  EVERYTHING is cooked over coal bricks, adding to the haze and smog of the city.. Yuck.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to wander the market during the day. Hopefully I’ll get better crowd action scenes (if someone doesn’t chase me out of there 😉 )

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