Friday, December 16, 2011

Ice and Ants

I got back today from the city of Harbin. I did a little work up there but we also had some time to go see the sights.
Harbin is getting ready for their annual ice festival.   The actual festival is held outside of town but in the downtown,  they were stacking up blocks of ice to make sculptures.

Harbin is one of those places where it is so cold,  it doesn't really snow.  But the river freezes thickly and they score and cut big blocks of ice out of it for the festival.  Along the side of the road, there were trucks lined up with big blocks of ice.

The blocks of ice are moved with big hooks.

A sculpture being worked  on. 

The ice is huge and heavy and some of it is moved by forklift.

Harbin had a large foreign population in the past,  including many Russians.  This is St. Sophia's, an old  Russian orthodox church.   I took this picture at about 5:00 in the evening.  The church was beautiful!

The inside has no icons or religious imagery.   It's actually a museum of the history of Harbin.  It was interesting but I expected to see an Orthodox church.

We went to the pedestrian shopping zone where there was store after store of the same Russian stuff.   Same stuff, same price, no bargaining.  This says Yiwan Russian Shoppin Commodity A Street Unaerground.

Russian goods and chopsticks store.   That's not what the characters say and there were no chopsticks.

It wasn't hard for me to pass on the ground ant snacks.

But this traditional Harbin bread???

Killer! Huge loaf for about $4.00.  It weighed a ton.

I have to admit that part of the reason I bought the bread was so I could have this bag for smaller knitting projects.


Tanya said...

Brrr! all that ice!

That church is lovely, too bad about all the icons. sigh.

Ground ants!!! ewww!

A nice glimpse into the city.

Mary Cardoza said...

Thanks for sharing! My grandparents on my stepmom's side initially fled the Kazan part of Russia to Harbin in 1906ish before settling in Japan. They were Moslem rather than Russian Orthodox - did you see any mosques?

Walking to China said...

Mary- no mosques. We met an Australian man that lived there and he said that not much had been preserved. It was really,really cold and we didn't see all that much.

Hunan Mommy said...

Fascinating glimpse! My son especially liked the ants!

Lillie's Mom said...

Beautiful! I love seeing your pictures and reading your posts of places so far from where I find myself. In fact our A/C just kicked on at almost 5:30 in the evening. :0) The last pic reminds me of how many packaging materials I still have from China. (our trip was over two years ago!) We were so shocked at the beautiful boxes and bags we got when we made purchases in Hunan. And now that my husband travels to Thailand- we save all the cool bags from there too!