Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Up In China's Northeast

It had been a while since we had last seen a waterfall or made a blog update.

In fact, the last legitimate waterfall we had seen remains the Hukou Waterfall on the Shaanxi/Shanxi Provincial Border along the Yellow River. The Baofeng Waterfall in Zhangjiajie is manmade and doesn't count. The other waterfalls we've seen in Zhangjiajie are probably too temporary to really count.

Since our last blog update, we've visited the canals of Suzhou - namely Tongli and Zhouzhuang. We've also caught up with one of Julie's dearest friends who's currently working in Shanghai. She (and her sister) showed us around despite the unusually stifling heat.

Finally, today we arrived in Haerbin in the Heilongjiang (Black Dragon River) Province in the far northeast of China. There, we saw Siberian Tigers as well as the Church of St Sofia, which is one of many things in this town with a distinctly Russian influence. The day ended off with a stroll in Central Avenue (after having some Russian food in a charming little cafe). At the end of the promenade near the Songhua River, we ran into a candlelight vigil complemented with performance by guests; all of this commemorating the victims of the May 12th earthquake in Sichuan Province.

Sometimes days like today where not much is expected yields the greatest and most memorable surprises. And this was especially true of the little Chinese-Russian cultural exchange on display here. Only when you get out and travel do you experience things like this and for sure we'll remember today...

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