Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
33Trip End Oct 27, 2009
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Ah Nanjing what a lovely beautiful little place, often referred to in travel books as chinas venice. Indeed! Small lakes with gondaliers, at night the streets are luminated with fairy lights and masses of red lanterns. There is a small outdoor heated market type place on the river only selling food at very cheap prices. Had lunch today of noodles and dumplings (a china must) at under 2pounds for both off us. The quality of the food is the best ive seen in china. Nanjing is definately my favourite place so far, its more chilled out and pretty and warmer! All of this said our hostel is a dump! Our room looks straight out onto a car workshop place and they were drilling and sawing and making a ridicoulous amount of noise until 3 am this morning. We went to complain to the front desk but he didnt speak english, Managed to use a translation tool on the internet and he said that it sometimes happens. He did call enviromental health though (wasnt expecting that). So managed to sleep from about 3am until 9am when we were awoken by the riot police!!!! Outside our window, of course! Have no idea what it was about. The police cornered off the street and the locals were going crazy having to be physically restrained by the police. Then two young guys came along dismantled the roof then everyone buggered off. Took about 2 hours, Me and toad boy watched the whole time from the safety of our room. Chinese entertainment?!? The worst thing though is that our bed is infested with some kind of animal. Much smaller than cockroaches but look similiar, Got bitten to buggery but i survived! Woke up a more determined traveller, starting to get the hang of it now!
Went to the massacre of nanjing museum today (30000 chinese people in nanjing killed and tortured by japenese in 1937) It was harrowing. Especially with the open graves you can view of many many skeletons. It was an experience im glad to have had but it certainly wasnt pleasant. Me and Giles had an argument when he accidently hit me on the head and broke my sunglasses but we've made up now. He has also given me a cold, but im not complaining as much as he did.
We climbing up a purple mountain tomorrow. Im not sure exactly what it is but Giles assures me it will be fun. Train to Shanghai on saturday afternoon. Where ive heard there is a pizza expess... ...
Giles: Tomorrow won't be fun, but it will be a worthy experience to scale the summit of the local mountain! And I may have given Sam the cold, but the funny thing is she went to a Chinese pharmacy full of Traditional Chinese Medicine where they grind up desicated sea horses, tiger bones, anything they can get their hands on really and make all sorts of concoctions for everything. Luckily Sam opted for pre packaged medication in what looked like a reputable case - but what I thoguht was odd (in a funny way) was when Sam pointed to her head whilst speaking to the pharmacits, she then pointed out this medication which Sam bought and tookk, and it made her a little.. manic I should say for an hour or so last night. Maybe the pharmacist thought Sam was mental pointing to her head and gave her some cerebral altering drug? She's calmed down now though...
The riot police this mornign certainly were entertainment, no idea what was going on aprt form the tearing down of some roofing, but we soon stopped watchign when they all turned their attention from the screaming family to us, withotu blinking just staring (it must be a Chinese skill and custom), so we thoguth it woudl be best to stop looking and get ready for the day.
The museum was great, in a morbid way. Perfect way to illustrate the atrocities of a war - real pictures (taken by Japanese officers as souveniers, entertainment, etc) of people being shot, tortured, burned, decapitated, raped.. they didn't hold back with the violence. It all hadEnglish and Japnese captions which surprisingly were in perfect grammar so it was a real info-fest and insight into "the holocaust that peopel forgot". Like Sam said, pictures and videos aside, the excavated pits of actual human remains on view were the most horrific, second being the acounts given of survivors of the massacre and how they escaped but their family didnt. No cameras were allowed in here and there were enough guards to ensure this was enforced. however I don't think I would want to upload any even if we were allowed to take them. Do a google search for "the rape of nanjing" if any of you are interested in this six week atrocity.
History aside, Nanjing is a pretty little town/city place, and we're off to shanghai on saturday to the main square in town for a pizza express - we've been told reliably one exists!!
Much love, Gam and Siles xx