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Published: November 10th 2008
this one man carried the luggage for 8 people on his back all at the same time and climb up stairs doing it. We had to give him a tip after that feat.
Wuhan - called the heart of China
We went for a walk last night after dinner to try and find the Night Market here but we turned down the wrong street and never found it. However, the night was not all lost since Ernest found a DVD shop to bargain 10 DVD’s for 60 yuan or less than $1 each. New releases, too.
Today we went to the Hubei Provincial Museum, actually the history museum for this area. Based on Sonny and Barbara’s recommendation, we knew we wanted to see this place after we learned we had a few hours here before our flight to Shanghai. But the guide offered to spend the day with us and take us through the museum, then to some nature sights around town since it was such a beautiful day.
The musuem was new and a really cool building with the outside in the shape of an Emperial Palace and the inside very sleek and modern. The collection we saw centered around the archaeological find of the Ruler of the local kingdom state in 400 BC, 200 hundred years before Chin united China and became the first Emperor. The guy was called
one of the obligatory factory stops on the tour for us to see silk embroidery but it was very pretty
the Marquis of Yi. They use the term Marquis because there is not an exact translation word in English, but you get the drift he was a very important guy. And our guide said the history books state he was a good ruler. The tomb was discovered in the 1970’s and had not been looted. The find was incredible! Not only was the remains of the Marquis Yi found, along with 8 concubines, but there was a separate chamber that contained various musical instruments, including 64 bronze bells of different sizes but of perfect pitch. Each bell could produce 2 tone levels. This was the first time historians knew that the 7 tonal musical scale existed this far back in history. Previous discoveries only indicated 5 tones (you know, Do, Re, Me......). They also found the coffins of 13 musicians in the next chamber.
There was the largest bronze vessel ever found inn China and the archaeologists found some wine still in it. They tasted it, or so they claim, and said it tasted really good. It should, since it had 2400 years to ferment.
Then we saw the bells. These are pretty incredible. The wood used for
the frame and other instruments like the harp like player, were made of lacquer wood. Lacquer is a tree that goes here and several famous pieces are made from it. But this is why the wood didn’t rot Seeing the bells became my “ah-ha’ moment for this trip.
We went to a concert with musicians playing the reproductions of the instruments found in the tomb. It took 15 years for them to figure out how to replicate the bells, and maintain the perfect tones. I have the concert on video tape. I was very enjoyable.
After the museum, we went to a local lake filled with beautiful flowers and several couples talking wedding pictures. We were surrounded by a group of teenagers asking to have their picture made with us. We were a strange occurrence for them.
After lunch we visited a rock garden museum and saw some incredible rocks found in the areaas well as a 100 year old bonsai tree.
Off to the airport again to Shanghai, our final stop before heading home on Tuesday.
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