The crowded and long train left my home, cold Taizhou, Jiangsu, at 6:02pm and 24 hours later arrived in what is known as the "coldest" city of China, bone-chilling HARBIN, the capital of China's most northern province of Hailongjiang. The province of Hailongjiang has its borders with arctic Russian-Siberia, and HARBIN looks more like an Eastern-European or Russian city than a Chinese city.
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After 38 years as a Foreign Language Teacher and Foreign Language Dept. Chair at Coral Gables Sr. H.S., and A.J. Professor of German at the University of Miami, I have left Florida in June of 2006, where my home is in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. I have just signed another year's teaching-contract (my 8th year now) with Taizhou University in the city of Taizhou, located about 3hrs north of Shanghai, in Jiangsu Province, CHINA.
I thought it would be informative for others and rewarding for me personally, to log the progress of my efforts from beginning to end, as a Travel and Photo Jo... full info
The Pedestrian Mall of Harbin at night.The "Zhongyang Dajie" is reputed to be the longest pedestrian mall in all of China. It is lined on either side by wonderful architecture dating to the time of the European influence on Harbin. I found it most impressive and most beautiful at night.
The Pedestrian Mall of Harbin at night. Photo #2The European influence on Harbin is clear, as seen by many of the architectural legacies that line the "Zhongyang Dajie". These have been restored, and their histories have been recorded in English on exterior plaques.
Snow Carving Gala on Sun Island, Harbin, Photo #1My first morning in Harbin takes me via cable-car across the frozen Songhua River to Sun Island. I want to walk among the world-famous "snow-sculptures", fashioned every winter for the "Snow Carving Gala".
Snow Carving Gala on Sun Island, Harbin, Photo #6This man has his deer on a leash, waiting for anyone who might wish to take a photo with "Bambi", for a fee of course. For all the wonderful sights in Harbin, it was the poor treatment of the animals that bothered me greatly, and will stay with me for some time. I saw that with dogs, horses, birds, and other animals exploited as entertainment for visitors.
Snow Carving Gala on Sun Island, Harbin, Photo #8Each of the snow-sculptures must have taken weeks to complete, and the details are easy to appreciate. Here, I am saying hello to the "endangered" polar bear (not according to the current administration!), part of an elaborate snow-carving.