Encased in ice and no evidence

Trip Start Jan 09, 2006
Trip End Feb 14, 2006

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, January 9, 2006

Everyone knows that Harbin is frigid. Yet, there is quite a difference between understanding something intellectually and having that understanding penetrate through three pairs of socks, thermal stuff, sweater, hoody, puffer coat, and eskimo girl hat. Sorry, I can only affirm what has long been suspected: Harbin is ice and snow in January.

The ice festival was, at the risk of sounding breathy and trite, magical. Ice palaces, animals, ancient emperors, and a massive snow monkey king with an ice coating were all illuminated with a myriad of colored lights. The entire area seemed to glow. At the top of the ferris wheel we stood and looked out over that seeming imaginary land. (I can hear the breathiness of my voice increasing *clears throat*. Ok, back to normal low tone..) We slid down a forever long ice slide, helped a woman with suicidal high heels across a particularly icy area, marveled at the sculptures entered in the international competition, and took many photos.

The second great thing about Harbin was walking across the Songhua River. We reached the edge around three on Tuesday afternoon and decided to cross. Silly and annoying men requested that we take their horse drawn carriages...nay, demanded and then followed us. But we were unmoved and trekked across on our own. Actually, frolicked across would be more accurate: running, skipping, and scampering. Such a wide river...such thick ice...such a hazy sunset. The other side seemed deserted. We passed through a garden area and by quaint buildings. Then back to the other side. Of course we took many a photo.

Ahh photos: worth a thousand words, eh? Unfortunately Robert was taking all of the photos and I felt it unnecessary to take any for he would then send them to me. At the time it made sense. Now Robert is no longer and I haven't any photos.

We were unable to get a sleeper to Beijing so it was hard seat for twelve hours: how lovely.
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ataritouchme on

Ice Palaces
Ice Palaces? I've heard of those...

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