I’m not sure if anyone noticed that I took an unplanned blogging break. It wasn’t as though nothing was happening – quite the contrary. I just couldn’t be bothered documenting it – at the time. There was Arlo’s second birthday, a visit from my sister and her family, a visit to my other sister in Canada, a road trip through a small part of the USA, and lots of other little happenings in between. I’ll post some of the best photos of all this over the next few days or weeks (or months, if I get lazy again).
We took Marchelle down here to see the giant pandas. This was something on my To-Do-While-In-China list (a list that is almost complete now) and we saved it for when Michelle’s family came because Zoe is such a panda obsessed freak. In a good way. We expected Chengdu, in the middle of Sichuan province (think super hot, spicy food) to be crazy hot in the middle of summer, but it was very mild – perfect weather for panda viewing. We stayed at the Sofitel in the middle of Chengdu, a lovely hotel with woeful restaurant service and a great swimming pool where swimming caps were compulsory – no exceptions.
It’s almost impossible to see pandas in the wild, so we visited the Chengdu Panda Base where they have made breeding giant pandas almost an artform. When you see giant pandas in zoos around the world, the Panda Base is probably where they originated. The day we visited was fairly mild (around 20 degrees celsius) and drizzly. When the temperature gets above about 25 degrees the pandas are taken indoors where they can sit amongst the air conditioning – and concrete. Seeing them outdoors was a much more pleasant experience – for them (I hope) and us.
Zoe, Shay and Luca had the opportunity of a lifetime to hug a panda – something we’ll never forget so I’m sure they’ll remember it forever as well.
The next day we visited another section of Chengdu where, among other things, we ate yak meat and drank yak milk tea (awful, awful, awful). Sadly, no photos of that.
Up next: just a few more snaps (no, really, just a few) from around Shanghai and Suzhou.