While Jim works I wander the streets of China. In general I am just walking with no clear destination to see what I can see. I use offline maps and often look for green spaces in the city and head towards them. I also like to walk through areas with little shops – mostly just to see what it looks like as I am not much of a shopper. Currently my average daily walking distance is about 10k.
So far my favourite walking around memory is still from last year in Nara, Japan. Japan is the first place I had encountered cicadas and it took me most of my first day there to figure out what the sound was. I’d thought it was something electronic. One day I headed towards a stream I saw on my map and found a beautiful pathway. Of course I learned quickly that the pathway was also for cars. Somewhere along the pathway I met two gentlemen one of who had been a professor and spoke English well. I found out that the men were catching cicadas. I didn’t get a clear idea of what they were catching them for but I got the idea that one of them let them fly around his house. After our conversation I received a gift of two cicadas in a bag. I thanked them and wondered out loud if my hotel would be ok with my new pets. I thought it best to walk further down the path and then set them free.
Chongqing was challenging at times due to the construction work and because areas identified on the maps to be green spaces often turned out just to be buildings. Perhaps the maps are not updating fast enough to keep up with the construction in the area. For the first couple of days I wandered – mostly in search of a small lake that was on my map but could not seem to find a way to access it. The map identified roads by the lake but those roads were blocked by gates and security guards in what look to be gated communities. It just seemed like all I could find were lonely streets or busy highways.
On one of the evenings in Chongqing Jim and I went looking for dinner along the same route I had been exploring. I quickly realized that the same roads that had appeared lonely in the morning were full of people and energy in the evening. We also found a small mall I had missed with shops and a grocery store, and Jim even found a way to get down to the lake…
And a lovely restaurant to eat in with a young waitress who spoke some English and is planning to go to medical school:
I decided my walks would have to wait until after noon at the earliest:
Some of my favorite pictures from my walks in Chongqing:
It is amazing what they will carry on a scooter or one of their 3 wheeled vehicles…
Despite the construction work the sidewalks are always open – I wish I’d taken a picture of the spot where we walked by a deep hole we had to walk around – we could just make out workers deep within the tunnel working on the subway…
Parks often had beautiful rock-work and tiling:
Another lake I found…
And a cicada…
In the distance I could see a pagoda atop a mountain. One of my goals was to find the park it was in but I never quite got there. I walked towards it on many roads but kept running into impassible dead ends. I took this photo at the point were I was closest. I intended to try another route on another day but ran out of time…