Saturday, November 3, 2012

October

Oops, I guess it's been awhile!  How did October fly by so fast?  It's my favorite month, and it's been the busiest thus far.  In October I:

  • Took a 3-day trip to Nanjing
  • Met with other music teachers for a day in Wuxi
  • Celebrated my birthday with friends
  • Visited the fabric market at least four times
  • Bought a sewing machine
  • Started a school choir and an after-school Rhythm Club
  • Dressed up for Halloween twice!


Here are some pictures from my trip to Nanjing during first week of October.  It's a national holiday, so it was definitely not the best time to go...it's the biggest time of year for tourism in China, and every place we visited was super crowded.  It was worth it though, and I had a great time!



 We got to the train station around 7AM and it was already packed.


 Happy to be on the train!


A glimpse of another bullet train out the window.


 Bulletin board inside our hostel, the Travelers' Soul Inn.


 Inside ZhongHua Gate, part of the giant wall that runs around the entire city.


Walking down the other side of the gate, overlooking the city.


 Flags outside the Confucius Temple to celebrate his 2563rd birthday!


 Incense inside the temple


 Confucius, the birthday boy!


With my travel buddy inside the temple.


 The first night there we had the most delicious (and cheapest!) meal.  The things in the wooden bowls are called xiaolongbao, and they're soft soup dumplings.  We also had spicy noodles, some kind of pork, and gyoza (fried dumplings) all for about $5 per person.  


 On our second day we trekked up to Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum in the Purple Mountains around Nanjing.  It would have been a much nicer walk if it weren't so packed, but the view from the top was still pretty amazing...




 The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall was sad, but really well-done.  I found myself getting frustrated with people pushing and talking inside.  I thought it was really disrespectful and it would have been much more powerful if they had limited the people allowed in at once.  Still, it made me want to read more on the history of Nanjing.  This statue marked the end of the Hall.


 On the last day, we visited Jinghai Temple and Tianfei Palace, which are both on the same hill in the middle of the city.  These spots were a lot less busy, which was a nice change from the rest of the trip!


 The most satisfying bell I have ever rung.


Looking across the city from the top of Tianfei Palace.


Hanging out in Xuanwu Lake before catching the train back home.


I would highly recommend visiting Nanjing, but maybe not during the October holiday.  Next year I'll be looking for a destination out of the country!  Thailand, maybe?

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