Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Qindao, China

Nee How! (Hello). We have just arrived in China at a port south of Beijing and north of Shanghai. A super tryphoon has hit south of Shanghai and 1.5 million people have been evacuated. We are getting rain, but we threaded the eye of a needle between these typhoons and are very lucky. I fly to Beijing in a few hours and and it is forecast to be sunny and warm. The crossing from Japan was uneventful. Teaching and prepping for the next port and country. Today is 'speak like a pirate' day, so I am wearing my pirate jams and an eyepatch I got in San Diego. I don't think I will wear it ashore, though.

More on my return from Bejing and Xian to Hong Kong. Next stop...The Great Wall! Toodles.

Posted by Nancy @ 04:59 PM pst

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Kobe, Japan

Sayonara to Japan. We are heading to China as I write this and they just tied down the furniture on my balcony. We are headed around a typhoon as best as possible, but we are still feeling the rough seas. In Kobe, I went by bus to Hiroshima with about 80 others (2 buses). The drive was about 5 hours each way but it went fast as our guide entertained us by teaching us to count and sing in Japanese and told stories. Hiroshima today is a manicured town with peace memorials, fountains and monuments. Going to the museum really put it in perspective so when you emerged, you could look beyond the today to August 1945. It was very powerful. On the way back we stopped for cafe dinner. You buy a ticket from a vending machine and present it to the cook who makes it on the spot. There are vending machines for everything here, even flower bouquets! We arrived home (the ship) about 9:30 p.m. The next day I explored Kobe, going to the main train station by the Portline tram. Then I walked to the Maritime Museum and took a trolly back. I had first, found a fire station and traded a Grand Canyon Fire Department shirt for a Kobe Japan Fire shirt. Very neat. In the afternoon I took the JR (Japan Railway) train to Osaka and walked to the Kyocero Baseball Dome. I was wearing my new Orix Buffaloe shirt (that is one of the Major League teams here). I could only go to the first part of the game as we had an early on-ship time. But during batting practice balls were flying to us in the right field bleachers and one bounced right to me! But a man with a whistle ran up and took it back. You are not allowed to keep foul balls in Japan...but I did get a photo. Sigh. Next stop...China!

Posted by Nancy @ 07:01 PM pst