24 April 2011

1. - 24 APR: Depart Italy via Amsterdam to Chengdu, Sichuan, start of the trip

I am again leading a group of Italian tourists to Asia. I am quite excited, have not been to China for some time, and it's my first visit to the western part of the country. The focus of the trip will be Yunnan, but we'll also spend some time in Chengdu and along the Yangtse river.

Uneventful flight with KLM via Amsterdam nonstop to Chengdu, a "medium size" city of 12 million people in Western China, capital of the Sichuan province. "Provinces" in China are in fact huge regions, this one is about one and one half times the size of Italy and weighs in at 80 million people, as many as live in all of Germany.

Chengdu is a lively city, if not a most charming one. Much of the older treasures have been destroyed in wars and revolution. It will be up to this generation to make up by creating a new Chengdu that won't replace the old one, for that is impossible, but will allow the world to miss it less.

Keeping Chengdu windows clean

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