China-2023. Me + companion: over to Pingshan Canyon!

You’ve already read so much and seen so many pics from our China-2023 trip – but that was just the first day! Yes – action packed that first day sure was, taking in Enshi Grand Canyon in the morning, and the nearby cliffs and crazy paths in the afternoon. Which brings us, logically, to day two – and another… grand canyon! Well, why not? (You can never have too many grand canyons on a trip to China)…

Introducing – Pingshan Grand Canyon (as is common for lesser-known (to foreigners) Chinese tourist attractions, there’s no Wikipedia page for it). Its depth is around a hundred meters, and just a dozen or so in width = a super-thin crevice. The clean river water that runs through it is emerald green, apparently colored so by the dissolved minerals in it. Which minerals? Not sure – it seems only the Chinese internet knows ). What I am sure of is that tourists are taken on narrow boats like this one down the river ->

It’s situated around half-way between yesterday’s Enshi Grand Canyon and tomorrow’s Wulingyuan Scenic Area – here. Indeed, you can check out the canyon, plus take the boat ride along it, and by evening make it to the next attraction, which is what we did.

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China-2023: Enshi Grand Canyon.

Often, it’s not the filtering and editing of photos and deciding which ones go where that’s the tricky bit. Much harder, IMHO, is calming and formatting personal impressions, and dimming the brightness and contrast of emotions that are still all over the place as after-effects of one’s latest typically unorthodox spot of travel to a far-away beautiful land – this time China. But, what can I say? Hard or no – I’ve finally pulled it off: all my memories and impressions and photos and videos duly sorted, de-chaffed and compartmentalized – all ready to be slotted into the various chapters of my latest travelogue series…

Which brings me to why I’ve been so quiet of late on these here blog pages of mine – I was in deepest China for quite some time in October. And I was so busy with my tourisms of the unexpected (added to the above-mentioned over-abundance of photos and videos) that I never got round to starting this here series. Well that procrastination stops here, now…

First up, Enshi Grand Canyonhere.


 

 

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Moscow at night – the view from the river.

November just keeps on giving! The clement weather treated us with the possibility of visiting an outdoor (+ indoor) museum the other weekend; and the weekend just gone – yet more November outdoor fun: an evening cruise upon the Moskva river (Moskva = Moscow in Russian, just in case:). Sure, we could have stayed inside the restaurant on the boat should it have been rainy/snowy, but where’s the fun in that? (And there are plenty of much better restaurants ashore.) But that’s just the thing: the weather wasn’t bad at all – so we were able to stay up on the deck for the whole duration and take in the nocturnal sights and sounds of the capital from an undeniably unusual and refreshingly impressive perspective!

For example, over there – that white lit-up building in the pic is the White House (the seat of the government) ->

But I’m no tour guide. Sure, I know the big famous places, but that’s about it. I’ll mention a few, but mostly here today it’s just photos for you. But if anyone would like to add some commentary to what we see in the pics – please feel free to down in the comments…

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2 x +1: steam-train ride + fireboxed fried eggs!

November in Moscow is normally a chilly affair – and mostly a rainy or snowy one too. So when, last weekend, someone suggested we take the kids to an open-air museum in the city (actually not far from the office), of course the first thing we did was check the weather forecast. Sure enough – rain was promised; however, nearing noon, there was still no sign of any, so we risked it: out we popped and over to the Podmoskovnaya Steam-Locomotive Depot Museum – here.

Here’s the view from the nearby elevated path we took to get there. And who’d have thought it was November?! ->

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The parks of Singapore: hot, sticky, but so much splendor!

Singapore is an island-city that’s simply must-visit. So visit it I have – many times, and I never tire of going back. Which is just as well, since I keep having to go back as we’ve so much business there. As per usual, there’s normally not much besides work on my visits, but now and again I do get a day or just half of one for my beloved mini-tourisms. Just writing that, I wondered how many times I’d been to Singapore, so I delved into my archives; the result: 13 times. And just the other week I had a +1 = 14 times!…

My first visit to Singapore was way back in 2009, and since then I’ve seen a great deal of the small island country – but by far not all of it. I’ve pottered around its resort-island Sentosa, been up quite a few of its skyscrapers, been blown away by its Jewel Changi Airport, visited its museums and galleries, dressed up as Santa Claus there (!), and sweated it out on a walk around one of its central parks, which featured monkeys. And for my 14th visit we were continuing the park theme: gardens and parks that are mega-awesome, designer, and simply oh-my-grandiose!…

First up, the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We didn’t cover all of them – you probably need more than a day for that, but we did get to see plenty…

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Back in Tokyo – tasting its haute cuisine with gusto!

It was farewell to the quiet backwater of Hokkaido, and hello to the world’s largest city (by population) – Tokyo! Time to get some work done!…

Alas, we were so busy we had zero time for tourisms. It was literally all work, work, work – strictly formal too: I wore a suit! Meetings, handshakes, discussions, and the inevitable low bows. Doing business in Japan these days for us is really tricky – but we don’t never give up! Despite the geopoliticalisms that we’ve zero control over, there’s still plenty of demand here for the world’s supreme quality cybersecurity.

Back at the hotel after sundown – I managed a few photos out the window but, like I say, 0 tourism (…

…And the next morning – what a beautiful day! ->

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Hi Hokkaido!

Hokkaido – the northernmost of Japan’s main islands – had always been a curious mystery to me. I’d been so close yet so far a few times before on my trips to and around the Kuril Islands next-door – but never had I set foot there. Until the other week…

Hokkaido – meaning ~Northern Sea Circuit, is unsurprisingly just as volcanistic as the Kurils, as you can see in the above pic. It also features nice little houses, like these ->

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Sochi: Cyber Immunity, industrial cybersecurity… and stunning sunsets.

Hi folks!

Not long after returning from Indonesia, I was back on a plane and heading out once again – this time down to sunny Sochi. And I knew this was going to be a lucky trip because it started out so pleasantly: having settled into my seat on the plane, the Aeroflot flight attendant brought me a drink and, passing it to me, uttered the words, “Yevgeny Valentinovich, congratulations on the 256th day of the year!” Seeing my puzzlement, she then let on reminded me that it was Programmer’s Day!

So south we flew – ending up not in Sochi itself but neighboring Adler. Now, as just mentioned, I knew from Sheremetyevo that this trip was gonna be a goodie, but check out this extra confirmation we were treated to upon arrival in Adler! ->

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