Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Purple Mountain, Tomb of Dr Sun

Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum (中山陵) is situated at the foot of the second peak of Mount Zijin (Purple Mountain) in Nanjing, China. Construction of the tomb started in January 1926 and was finished in spring of 1929. The architect was Lu Yanzhi, The day we spent at Purple Mountain was incredibly hot and the pollution levels were low so we got a view of the most amazing landscapes.

A photo of me standing in front of Dr Suns tomb.

(Above) Purple mountain is named as such due to it having these increadable flowers which cover the mountain with a sea of purple, these flowers were only beginning to appear as they grow more with the high temperatures of the summer months.

(Below) A few photos of the Tomb buildings which are hand painted with the most incredible decorations, the striking colours really higlighted in the beautifull weather.

Purple mountain has be one of my favourite places I visited in Nanjing! 
A great contrast to that of the busy City and a focal point to that of Chinese History.

Chinese Hotpot Experience!

The Chinese food has to be one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome during my time in China. Name it and the Chinese will eat it. You are constantly surrounded by street vendors selling scorpions, ducks heads or chicken claws, and I really struggled to eat many of the meals that I discovered in the restaurants. 

From a disturbing dish of baby turtles to a difficult experience I had with the traditional Nanjing Ducks blood soup (ya shui tang)  This looks and tastes like dark red-brown jelly firm tofu, in a spicy broth however the jelly turned out to be congealed curdled blood cut into squares and egg like chunks which was revealed to me as ducks liver. This led me to no longer asking what things were and just eat to enjoy rather than eat to worry. By some of my Chinese friends we were recommended to attend a Hotpot restaurant.

In a hotpot restaurant you have a giant pot full of a tasty soup like liquid at the centre of the table above a electric heated hob. You then choose what you would like to cook in your hotpot and you empty these raw contents to cook in your pot.

Below you can watch a short video of  this pot and a kind Chinese waitress who saw our looks of puzzlement and decided to help us cook the mushrooms and various meats we had ordered. 

The left hand side of the pot had  oily slightly seafood taste and the right half was full of a taste bud killing mixture full of Chilli seeds blew my head off.

(Below) Tasty mushrooms- who'd have thought there was such a thing.

I really enjoyed the food this night and I'm glad we persisted with exploring the various foods available, it was funny however we soon discovered that the most dreadful looking back streets had the most fantastic authentic restaurants. You can look forward to a post I am preparing named "Bird Flu Alley" which took cooking to a whole new level.

M xxx

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Studying at Nanjing University, Jiangsu Province, China

I studied Chinese culture, language and economics at Nanjing University which is one of the top 5 universities in China. Below is a photograph of me and my Chinese language class (4th from right - white hair) outside one of the oldest buildings in Nanjing which is now a focal point of the University's city campus.
(Below) This is the entrance road into the university which at peak times was swarming with students.

(Below) This is the Xian Lin campus where we took a trip to, this campus was simply breathtaking and was a fair distance away from Nanjing City centre itself. The campus is as far as the Nanjing metro goes and the sheer scale of the university was overwelming.

This is the student accommodation on the Xian Li campus and I have never imagined such a place could exist. A whole city of just university student housing, libraries, sports halls and specialism buildings.

(Below) is a scale model of the campus we took a tour
of showing the extent of the magnificent campus and its size.

(Above ) A class photograph of us with our Chinese
 lecturer who patiently taught us the language.

My Chinese language classes consisted of regular lessons each day and by the end of my trip I had gained 60 hours of language lessons, I really felt as though I had began to grasp the language as our lessons were practical and we were able to use what we learned that day during our adventures out and about in the streets. It surprised me massively how little English the Chinese spoke, no taxi drivers spoke English, no shop staff spoke English and this was originally a little intimidating as you were essentially in an alien country with no means of communicating so this greatly helped push my Chinese lessons along in order to grasp a better viewpoint on their culture. (Chinese classroom below)

Related Posts with Thumbnails