Nanjing: The Last Hurrah

Our very last large adventure was to the beautiful, beautiful city of Nanjing. Nanjing was once the capitol of China before Beijing and is now known as “the southern capitol”. In my opinion, Nanjing was the most beautiful city we visited in China. The weather while we were there was gorgeous and we got to tour some beautiful parks including Purple Mountain and the Nanjing City Wall. The purpose of this last trip was to visit a scholar that had trained with Dad at OSU and she set up us in a beautiful hotel adjoining a really nice park. It was during this trip I realized how very much I had missed the countryside, nature, and the sounds of birds even. Continue reading “Nanjing: The Last Hurrah”

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

20160930_172417       20160930_174626            On a Friday afternoon in September, we decided to go to the “Hutongs”. Hutongs are alleyways and lanes of old and close together houses that are arranged around a central courtyard. Most Hutongs are found by the Forbidden City. We took the bus and subway to get to there. Once we arrived, we immediately went into a leather working shop. That would be one of the many shops we visited. Here are some of the other shops we saw : a “snuff” shop, many food vendors, amber rock shop, bubble drink vendor, tea shops, and music shops. (We all learned not to drink the dry ice in the bubble drink!) I liked all the food we tried, including lamb kabbobs and the “candied fruit on a stick”. Continue reading “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

The Great Wall

20160928_115729-001.jpg

Well, we finally made it. And we were so glad we waited. September 28, 2016 was the perfect day to be on the Great Wall. It was a clear day, we got a direct bus ride there, and the Wall was not the least bit crowded. (After looking at video and pictures of the Wall during the holidays we especially realized how lucky we were on this subject!) After an hour/hour and a half bus ride to the wall at Mutianyu we bought on a shuttle bus and went up to the base of the wall. Because it was such a large hike to actually get up to the wall, we decided to take the easier, and more fun, way up. To help me tell the story of the Great Wall, I’ve enlisted the help from the other Ochsner 6 to each tell us about their favorite part of our adventure. Continue reading “The Great Wall”

The (not so) Forbidden City

IMG_6667.JPG

We were so ready. We had rented a van. We were all rested up. We had picked out our warmest clothes. We had gotten our snacks packed. We were going to the Great Wall.

The next morning we woke up to a massive wind storm. The Great Wall is on top of the mountains…I don’t know about you, but it blowing off the Great wall doesn’t sound so fun to me. Huh.

We weren’t going to the Great Wall….

So we settled for the next best thing, the Forbidden City. We packed into the van and off we went. Continue reading “The (not so) Forbidden City”

Terracotta Warriors: You can’t take it with you when you go – but you can try

img_6197-001

“This is amazing,” I thought to myself while looking over the oldest army in the world.  It almost seemed surreal to me when I imagined that I could be standing in the same spot Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, stood around 2226 years ago to survey his army when it was vibrantly painted and ready to march off to battle. Qin Shi Huang built this army to fight for him in the afterlife and to protect his tomb from intruders, and though these clay warriors may have failed their original mission, many of them still stand strong thousands of years later as a testament to his name. And that is an accomplishment to be proud of.

Continue reading “Terracotta Warriors: You can’t take it with you when you go – but you can try”

Two Things That Take Some Getting Used To

This past Saturday we took an adventure to the National Museum of China. Though the museum was interesting in and of itself, getting there was definitely the real adventure.

IMG_5517This is a picture of one of the many instances that we were asked to take pictures during this adventure. And when I say many instances, I’m talking over twenty times throughout the trip. I was even asked once in the bathroom. We joked that we could be a museum exhibit ourselves. Here in China, people just stare when we pass. It’s so different then what we’re used to in the US, where we are proud of diversity. There, no one stares or asks to take pictures, but things are different very here.  At the end of the day we were so done with people taking pictures and staring, but I guess it’s just something we’ll have to get used to.

IMG_5539Another thing that we got to experience this trip were lines. Actually, I don’t know that they could actually be called lines, they were more of blobs. Here in China there are no turns; if what you want is available, you just take it. Also, when there are lines, they are in the strangest places. From the time we walked out of the subway station to the time we went into the National Museum, we waited in about 5 lines which look just about exactly like the picture above. Needless to say, while being here we have learned to fight for what we want (and have had many opportunities to practice our patience too!). 😉

Once we actually got into the museum, there were some really awesome exhibits. We visited the Ancient China display, and one of the oldest things we saw was supposedly from 5000 BC. It was amazing to get to see so many things that were around even before Jesus’ time on Earth.

Eventually we began the journey home, and resolved to not take any more adventures on the weekends to avoid crowds. Saturday was definitely a long day.

I’m sure by the time we come home, we will be seasoned pros at turn snatching and picture posing, but for now, we are still looking for new ways to adjust to our new environment and trying to figure out how to make chocolate chip cookies with out an oven. We’ll let you know if we figure that one out…

-Audrey