Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I return to Nanjing, a wiser, hairier man.

Late Friday night Ian, Dominic and I decided to hop on a train the next morning for a weekend in Nanjing. 'Nan' means south and 'Jing' means capital. This city used to be China's major capital before Beijing ('Bei' means north). So there is a lot of rich history in this city, and it's about a 2 hour train ride away from Shanghai. Below are a few pics of Nanjing's ancient shipbuilding center. This ship is a recreation (frankly a very un-authentic one, but it still gets the point across). Supposedly China at one point had a fleet of 10,000 of these, at a time when the rest of the world hardly knew how to navigate the seas.

It was constructed to look like a floating dragon. A large fleet of these would have been a scary site to anyone in its way.

This guy was flying a bird shaped kite that was about a mile away. He was flying it around and in between a distant apartment complex. The people in the apartments would have had no idea where the controller of the bird was. It was very impressive.

A shot of a construction site near the base of the hotel we were staying in.

We visited the 'observatory' at the top of purple mountain. All these observatories are non-operational, but the view was great.

Lazy people took the chair lifts in the distance to get to the top of the mountain. We, being real men, walked up it.

Obama's image is as prevalent here as it is in the states.

Then we spotted what would be the highlight of the day. A trandem bike. For about $3 we rented this for an hour and rode it around Nanjings lake. Just getting this thing in motion was an ordeal every time. And when things were going smoothly, the two in back would always do whatever we could to make it difficult for the person steering, including not pedaling or leaning left and right when they weren't looking. I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time.

In the middle of the lake (on an island) was a creepy carnival of half-working rides.

Bon appefeet.

The original city of Nanjing was surrounded be a very impressive, highly-fortified wall. We stumbled on a walkway to it during our stroll.

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