Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not the 'REAL' China - "Can you find Darryl and the Elephants?"

We have been her for 57 days now and everywhere we go the locals who can speak English ask us what we think of Ordos. We tell them we really like it. It is beautiful, peaceful, lovely, safe and has so much to do. The next thing they almost all tell us is; "This isn't the 'real' China."  I want you to know we have been to Baoding, Dong Sheng, Ejin Horo and made the 10 hour drive to Beijing. We have seen the real China and we like Ordos better. With that in mind, here are some photos from the North Side of the river. This walk was a couple of miles long. Most of the red rock was hauled in sections, stacked together and carved. 
It was amazing!!! 

Above is the suspension bridge over the river and below are the man made red cliffs that have been hand carved. they start out as rough walls with doors going into what was supposed to be a museum and then the carvings are beautiful and intricate friezes. Below is a list of things to look for in the carvings!

Hello down there!

We found more bronze horses and a traditional pagoda shopping center under construction.

Sitting in on the Mongol's camp.

As you look through these beautiful carved friezes, see if you can spot the Sumo-type wrestler, camel, lions, dancing Darryl, musicians, a goat head and some monstrous elephants. 

The Mongols were famed for being fierce warriors, magnificent horseman and shooting arrows backwards at a full gallop.

This is one small section of the carved walls.

This is on top of the elephant statues and it's going to be an authentic Mongolian Restaurant.

At the end of the walk we had gone almost 8 miles. My feet were very tired but it was a great time with my sweetheart.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Walking the South Side of the Wulan Mulun River and Lake

Darryl and I are not allowed to drive here in China, most foreigners are not. It is possible to get a license to drive, it just takes many documents and months and months of wait time. On Saturdays and Sundays when we want to get out of the house we go for walks. There are so many sights to see here, parks, paths, fountains and statues. One day we set out for the river. From the North side we could see a giant Golden Buddha and we wanted to see it up close. We walked around 8 miles that day and it was amazing!
 Unfortunately, the development on the south side of the river came to a stand still a few years ago and is barely starting back up. This huge water wheel water feature must have been very impressive when it was running. It's not been turned on for a couple of years I think. 

Darryl was checking out the construction (I will have a whole post on that topic sometime.) 

It was nearly a two mile walk to the Golden Buddha and most of it was lined with a hand carved marble railing.

Friezes and mosaics depicting the history of the Ordos area and Inner Mongolia. The cave in the background was supposed to be for shopping and souvenirs I think. 

Looking toward the north side of the river and Kangbashi. (Ordos)

We made it to the Happy Golden Buddha and believe me, it was impressive! 

This kind of site is not uncommon. 

At the 2.25 mile mark we found stairs to the top of the embankment.... 

..... and a massive business and shopping mall and business district that is empty and construction seems to be stopped. 

A mile or so past the mall we found a beautiful park with a pagoda -

Totally made out of concrete, you can rent it for events I've been told. 

A little bridge to cross. 

Don't know why it's here with a walking path underneath, but we crossed it anyway.

From a point on the top of the hill Darryl saw a cute little village. We decided to go check it out.

Beautiful and white, it looked like something I would expect to see in Spain, except for the Oriental touches on railings,  painting, etc. 

Beautiful homes and shops with water feature running through the middle of the complex. Empty. Maybe someday happy families will live here. 

Of course being Dome Builders we found a dome, but the cave structures on North side of the river really caught our eyes. 
I feel another long walk and an adventure coming on!