Day 0: Arrival at Xizhou
We've finally gotten to our destination after sitting/playing cards/using iPad/eating/sleeping on the plane/bus for about nine hours total. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we saw two horse-drawn carts. While traffic in Shanghai is tons of cars on a crowded highway, traffic here is one jeep vs one horse-drawn cart. We walked to the guest house we were staying at, and checked out our rooms (dimly lit, but with an amazing view). It's less than a minute's walk to the Linden center, where we had a dinner of rice/sweet and sour pork/eggs/tofu/squash/broccoli. The food here is farm-grown and organic, so it tastes extremely fresh. Actually, the air here's healthier too, with less pollution. Therefore, we can actually see stars on the Linden terrace at night.
I saw Orion, the Big Dipper, Sirius, the Eye of Taurus, the Seven Sisters, and the planets Mars, Venus, and Jupiter! The longer you look at the night sky, the more visible stars become. If you look up, it seems as if you're so near to the sky, the universe a dome around you. It's seriously amazing, and something you won't see in Shanghai. We're going to be here for about a month, so I want to see how many constelations I can spot.