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IUCr XVI--post-conference tour no. 4

[Market details] 'Interesting little details that one would miss if you went only to the big cities.'

On Aug. 30, 1993, twenty-seven persons flew on a brand new MD-11 to Huangzou, a city not far from Shanghai with more than a million inhabitants. Huangzou's importance is due to the manufacture of silk, tea, ink, metal, and handicrafts, and a splendid temple and majestic pagoda that survived 'cleaning' by the Red Guards.

A long transfer by bus brought us to the artificial Thousand Isles lake, formed by flooding dozens of valleys for production of hydroelectric energy. A prolonged boat trip took us near the foot of the Huangshan Mountains, where we spent a day on the top and then descended (luckily by cable car) to start a 12-hour bus trip to Shanghai, a bustling and western-oriented city of 14 million

[Scaffolding] 'The speedy grand development', bamboo scaffolding around new construction all across China.

Nature, landscape, the unforgettable 'hundred peaks above the clouds' seen from the mountain top, the thousand steps up and down, and the congeniality of the locals were the most attractive features of the tour, which involved lengthy bus transfers with innumerable interesting little details that one would miss if they visited only the big cities.

The speedy grand development going on, the frenetic activity of the working people, the millions of bicycles, and the obscure, though fluent English language employed by local guides, completed the panorama of a thoughtfully planned itinerary.

Ladies soon grew tired of shopping and even the singing was rather limited, although the hearts of hundreds of Chinese were touched by our ability to sing their beloved song 'Kang Ding.'

The unusually compact, pleasant, and well-behaved touring group included the Ivarssons and Bergs from Sweden, the Batternians, Changs, and R. Sparks from the USA, the Feils and Gorters from The Netherlands, the Bergerhoffs, Sievers, and M. Berndt from Germany, the Lahozs from Spain, J. Bernstein and E. Garestein from Israel, L. Amaral from Brazil, R. Paupit from the UK, B. Schweizer from Switzerland, and my wife. Everyone appreciated the assistance from the Chinese guide, Mrs. Chen Songmei.

Lodovico Riva di Sanseverino
Bologna, 18 Sept. 1993