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 Created: 02/08/10


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— Xiamen, China —

May 14, 2010 – I'd planned to post more photos of Jerusalem, but life got a bit too hectic last month as I was getting ready for a 3-week trip to China. I joined my husband in Shanghai last week. We spent 5 days there. We then flew to Xiamen, a bustling city of 2.5 million located in Fujian Province on the southeastern coast of China. I haven't had a chance yet to dip my toes in the South China Sea, but I will be sure to do that before we return to Shanghai.

We are currently guests of Xiamen University, known throughout China for its stellar faculty and beautiful campus. This morning we got up early and by 7am we were trekking up a serpentine trail on the northern slope of Shi Mountain on our way to visit the sprawling 10,000 Stone (Wanshi) Botanical Garden. Wanshi was established 50 years ago. It features 29 distinct botanical zones with over 5000 species of tropical and subtropical plants.

This is the first photo I took, shortly after we started out.

Along the way we passed an old army base. This historic Chinese fighter plane was on display.

I'm not really sure what this was, but it looked interesting.

Chinese banyan trees, with their strangling roots, are found througout Fujian Province.

They are fascinating trees; I love them.

This was a particularly lush area within the park.

Large rocks split by tenacious, probing roots...

A private residence within Wanshi, this was here well before the Garden was established.

The home sits next to a popular trail that leads to one of the special botanical zones.

Here's another view.

And another...

... plus a quick peek through an open door.

This tranquil pond was nearby.

A young woman was sweeping a stone bridge using a crude broom.

Something captured her attention.

We weren't sure what she was looking at.

It turns out she was watching some large fish.

A local tourist

A side trail, which we did not follow

We think this was an old bunker from the early days of the Revolution.

Another view

Later on, we passed a small rest pavillion.


We glimpsed a temple through the trees, but we didn't climb up to it.

More banyans

A worker

This was one of my favorite scenes of the day

These rocks were to the far left.

My first view of the City Center

We ate a late breakfast in this small diner.
Next to us, fresh vegetables were being cleaned and chopped in preparation for the lunch crowd.

One of
the buildings on campus

This is my favorite banyan tree (so far) on campus, but I haven't seen all of them yet.
Notice the aerial roots which are so characteristic of the Chinese banyan.

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