After Huang Shan, I visited Chengdu in Sichuan Province. On July 22 there was an eclipse in some parts of the world.
I saw a partial eclipse in Turkey and basically there was nothing to see, so I wasn’t holding out too much hope, especially since the skies are so grey in many parts of China.
Chengdu had a total eclipse though. The total eclipse was scheduled for 9:10. At 8:30 there was no difference. Then at about 9:10, the sun appeared from behind the clouds and you could see part of it disappearing. Then it went really dark suddenly, like it was the middle of the night. And in a few minutes it was light again.
Chengdu also has a panda sanctuary. The panda sanctuary was ok, but a bit disappointing compared to some of the photos I’ve seen. The pandas have nice outdoor play areas, but when I was there, all of the pandas were in their small, dark indoor enclosures. It was fun to watch them playing around, but it was too dark to take any good photos. I got to see a 3-day old baby panda, which was cool. It looked like a little mouse (but we weren’t allowed to take photos).
Then I went to Xi’an, one of the old capitals of China. The first Chinese emperor was buried here along with thousands of statues – the terracotta warriors. The terracotta warriors are displayed in three big pits. The main pit has thousands of stone warriors. Each of them have different faces.
The warriors were discovered in March 1974, an auspicious time for revealing world treasures.
Chinese Language Factoid of the Day
Panda is not a Chinese word. In Mandarin they’re called da xiong mao (big bear cat).
Disaster Aftermath Action Tips:
If you are dramatically rescued from the scene of a disaster, make sure you mention the name of a popular company in your first words.
There was a big earthquake in Sichuan province last year. One boy was pulled from the rubble after being trapped for 80 hours. His first words were that he wanted a cold Coke. He became a local celebrity known as Coke Boy and Coke have agreed to pay for his university education.