Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nanjing, China Weekend!

Spent a fantastic weekend in Nanjing China.  Nanjing has a 3,000+ year history.  It was the capital city for several dynasties including the last one.  In one day, we visited the Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty, scenic lakes, the Quinhaui River at night, Confucius temple, Residence of John Rabe, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial, the Silk Brocade Factory and strolled through bustling Nanjing University at night.

I'd heard the term "MING TOMBS" but the so-called tombs are really just a lot of large mounds scattered all over the mountain behind the huge gate you'll see below. Actually, the road leading to the massive gate which guards the mountain of tombs is more impressive.  It was built specifically for the purpose of hauling the emperor's body and entourage to the mountain for burial. The few photos here give some idea of what lines this very long road. Better photos of its majesty can probably be seen someplace on Google or Bing.

I like how this statue shows the indominable spirit of the Chinese. 

Nanjing is a more river port and has been for centuries. This diorama very interestingly depicted the hustle and bustle of Chinese trading...not unlike it is still done today except with newer technology and transportation.  A Chinese friend told me, "If there's a corner, some Chinese will open a shop."

Everything in China is HUGE. And the race to out-do each other among hotels and departments stores is magnificent to behold. This is the interior of one of the tallest buildings in Nanjing. Just across the street is an equally impressive creation. 

Nanjing was the capital of China during WWII.  When the Japanese invaded Shanghai, thousands fled to Nanjing. After razing Shanghai, the pursuing enemy army reeked havoc on the city of Nanjing and inspired the famous book, "The Rape of Nanjing." A huge museum has been built to memorialize the event. While no photos were allowed inside the museum, the statues outside leading into the museum told the grizzly story. In only a few weeks 300,000 people were slaughtered...a monumental bloodbath.

This statue is of the author of "The Rape of Nanjing." This writing project cost her her life; it's that horrific.

John Rabe was a was a German businessman who worked tirelessly to save lives during the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanking Occupation trying to protect and help the Chinese people. He established the Nanking Safety Zone which  sheltered approximately 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre. Because he was an official representative for Germany, aka Nazi, and acted as senior chief of the European–American zone, the Japanese were obliged to respect his directives when the city fell to the Japanese troops.

Across from the street from the museum is the famous factory where Chinese brocade is created on the most complicated loomed ever devised by the mind of man. It takes 2 people to weave the silk brocade patterns, and though they never talk to each other they work in complete harmony making flawless brocades.

There are several islands in a huge, meandering lake in Nanjing. These islands once served as official document storage units for the emporers of many dynasties. Now they are part of a major park complex for the people of Nanjing.

We took Lily to Nanjing with us since she had never before travelled outside of Jinan or his village. Our hosts in Nanjing, the Mallons and the Parks, fell in love with Lily and graciously showed her lots of interesting things around Nanjing. You would also be charmed by Lily because of her honesty, thoughtfulness and genuine goodness.

I just had to stop and smell the roses. Reminded me of my backyard in East Mill Creek, just north of Salt Lake City, Utah. My mom would pin a rose in my hair for church on Sundays.  The aroma took me back 55 years.

We spent the evening taking in the Humming Bird area, the old red light district of Nanjing...all very respectable don't you know... rode boats along the canals. Reminded me a little of Venice but with a distinctly Chinese flavor.

No comments:

Post a Comment