Friday, October 26, 2007

Nanjing

My train arrived in Nanjing at 3 in the morning and I was really happy that the taxi driver understood the address of the hostel that I had written in Pinyin. I have had issues with people not reading pingyin. Pingyin is Chinese words written with the abc’s letters that I write with and just have some charters above some of the letters to show the tone changes. I guess I would have had to try and the trick of getting the driver to call the hostel if pinyin did not work.

I am not sure if it was because of the middle of the night arrival and not sleeping well but the following day I had one of those days where I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Travel is always dealing with the unknown and sort of changeling but if you are in a bad mood it can just be miserable. I tried to find a bus the guidebook talked about to go see one of the sites and could not find it and quickly realized that this day I just needed to forget about doing things and just return to the hostel. Everything that seemed to happen around me just bugged me and I wanted to give everyone around me a whack upside of the head. You will be happy to know I made it back to the hostel without trying to kill anyone.

Later in the evening I took a walk around the area of the hostel and visited the Fuzi Confucian Temple. The temple at night with all the lights was really striking.



I have passed a number of the large bells that you can ring for a small fee but for some reason I wanted to ring this one. I paid the fee and rang the bell 3 times for good luck.



There was also a sort of small concert in the temple and I set and listened to the 5 or six people playing the different bells but it sounded to me like a few of the bells needed to be tuned. Even though I did not find it the best music I still enjoyed the little concert.

The following day I visited the Xuanwu Lake Park, the Ming Dynasty City Wall and took the chair lift up Zijin Shan (Purple Mountain). There was a really bad haze and I did not take a single picture on the mountain.

My last full day in Nanjing I went to the Linggu Temple and Pagado, Sun Yatsen Museum and Mausoleum,a Ming Dynasty tomb and the city wall at the Zhonghua Gate. At one point I set and reread the recent China history section in my guidebook to better understand who Sun Yatsen was and I think at last a little bit of the history sunk through my thick skull. I found the mausoleum impressive but the highlight of the day for me was walking along the path to the Ming tomb that was lined with stone guards and animals.




The Zhonghua gate at night was also really striking.



At the end of the day I decided to get something to eat and went into a place that did not have an English menu so did the point and hope option. I ended up getting a sort of fish soup so was disappointed but ate all of the bean sprouts and they were really good.

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