Sunday, November 17, 2013

China: Shenyang

I had some long hours at the college where I was working but in between, I had some time to do a bit of sightseeing with Grace who was the best interpreter and new friend that I had in China.
Yesterday we went to the Shenyang Imperial Palace which I think was the original palace of the emperor and dates back to  the +Qing Dynasty which started in 1625 and lasted until 1912. The place is almost 500 years old and still looks very good. It's now a museum and some of the architecture is quite impressive.

Today we went to the +Xinle museum - a culture that is more than 7000 years old. Grace said that the site was accidentally discovered by a man who was digging up in the yard where he lived in a dormitory. Prior to that, no one knew of the significance of the site and when he found some old pottery, he showed it to someone who then realized that it was hugely significant. Since 1973, there have been several excavations and there are some buildings erected in the style of this ancient civilization. There was even a masala brick that looked remarkably similar to the one Mom used to use to grand her masala and herbs.

After that visit, I wanted to use the subway so we took it to Beiling Park. The park is massive and from the entrance to the Zhaoling tomb is about 2 km. but on a cold and windy day , it seemed like 20 km. You can rent bikes in the summer and ride around the park but because it was November, there were none.

Then it was off to lunch. Again I had the (not so) bright idea to use the city transit so we hopped on a bus outside of Beiling Park only to get so tightly crammed into it after only a few stops that it would have been easy to stand without holding on and stay erect from the sheer bodies pasted against you so that there was no way to fall - or for that matter - to move, and that meant getting off the bus when we reached our stop. We had to exit at the front because we could not move to the back door. It was jam packed. I asked Grace if this was normal and she said it was quite normal for the buses to be overly crowded on the weekends.
That was my first weekend in Shenyang. Jet lag? What jet lag?

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