We flew from Beijing to Luoyang. According to our guide, this is a small town, a population of only 6,000,000. The highlight of this town was our trip to a local school. We met students and practiced English with them. They were absolutely delightful! When our guide said it was time to go, they all groaned and frowned. So much fun!!
We also had lunch with a local family from the village in their home. Our group of fifteen divided in two. I think our group had less of an authentic experience. The head of the household owned a restaurant and he brought all the food to us. Most of these families have little gardens outside their homes, making the most of little space. The homes are small and modest, but you wouldn’t know it from the doors!
The Longmen Grottoes are amazing examples of ancient Buddhist cave art. The Buddhists carved rock temples dedicated to Buddha. The Longmen Grottoes began in 1493 and continued for over 400 years. There are over 1300 caves and 97,000 statues. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Clearly, Americans are still ann oddity in China. Mike and I both get lots of stares. I think because of his beard and my red hair. We have both been asked to be in photos with locals. I returned the favor and had my picture taken with the woman who wanted my photo. It is so funny.
Our Road Scholar group. They are a great bunch!! To the far right is our wonderful guide, Mr. Lou.
One evening we were treated to music by two students and Li Jiang, music master. One student played the guzheng, what we would call a zither. The other girl played a Chinese lute. Mr. Li Jiang, who has traveled the world, played several traditional instruments for us including the dizi, erhu, pipa, and the violin. The young students were so thrilled to play for us, so cute and shy. It was a wonderful evening of music.