Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nanjing Continued

On the second day I decided to go to the Tower Gate Castle.  There is a well preserved Castle on the wall of the city.  So I took the metro to the Zhonghua gate stop, and followed the metro line back where we had just come from until I found the wall, and then I walked toward the red lanterns.  It took me about 15 minutes, I had my baby in a Baby Bjorn, which worked so much better than the sling.  I was glad that I had him in a carrier instead of a stroller, because this tourist attraction was not stroller friendly!  I really liked this "castle" there were caves in the structure that now contain various information.  One cave talks about the castle directly, one that talks about Nanjing, one that has legends of frogs?  I think I lost a lot in translation.

This is the view of the castle from the side
This is one of the caves with a museum of sorts inside of it
This is one of the caves built into the castle

This is in one of the courtyards of the castle
This is in one of the caves
There is steps all over the castle, 3 different layers.  I went on a day where there was hardly anyone was there, I actually had to wake up someone to buy some souvenirs.  There were also plenty of places to sit and rest, so by the end of my visit I felt recovered enough to walk back to the Metro station.
This is what the castle would have looked like back in its time

When I got back to my hotel, I took a nap.  When my husband came home we went to Confucius's temple, we took the metro this time, we got off at the Sanshanjie stop.  It was supposed to be a 5 minute walk, East, how is a foreigner supposed to know which way is East?  I needed a compass, we didn't have one, so we asked someone for directions.  It was definitely a longer walk than 5 minutes!  We found it, and we actually found the temple this time!  It was night time, so beautiful, they light up so much of the area, it was picture perfect.  We left the area around 10pm, and some shops had closed, but a surprising amount of places were still open.

This is not the temple, but it is a museum

 While we were shopping, we walked into a store, all I heard was a couple of girls shriek in excitement and then a crowd of girls ran toward me, my husband said, "you distract them with the baby and I will go see if they have anything we want."

 The river right by the temple was so beautiful at night!  I really think the Fuzimiao area is most spectacular at night!  It was so pretty.  We stayed for longer than we should have, it was our last night in Nanjing.  We got back to the hotel around 10:30pm, called for room service and then went to bed.  We were planning on going to other places in Nanjing the next day, but we woke up just in time to pack up our stuff and get a taxi for the airport and we left for Beijing.  Just a side note, Nanjing was the capital of China up until the late 30's when Japan invaded and destroyed a lot of this city.  The Chinese people re-grouped and moved their capital to Beijing.  They do have a memorial for this tragedy, many Chinese people, women and children included were massacred by the Japanese.  I did not go to the memorial and in the tourist information I had it said that if you have children it may be too graphic for them.  Up until I visited Nanjing I had no idea that Beijing has been their capital for less than 100 years.

Also Nanjing is hot, it felt like we were in Phoenix Arizona, only more humid, when packing keep that in mind!  We never saw the sun there, the sky was always gray, like a Seattle, Washington gray sky.  For being so hot, it always looked like it should be cooler.  I did not get sunburned there, even with the hot temperatures, and I was outside a lot without sun screen.  It was a very different climate than I am used to.

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