Friday, January 11, 2013

Haerbin Ice & Snow Festival

Finals are over and grades are in, so we're off to explore more of China!  We went on a tour with some other BYU China Teachers to Haerbin, "the Moscow of the Orient".  Many Russians came there during the 1917 revolution to escape.  They brought much of their culture with them, and it's evident in the architecture and attitude of the city.  It is way up in the northeast part of China and the temperature was up to 24 below!  This is the home of the Ice and Snow Festival.  All these buildings are made from ice blocks and lit up with LED lights.  What a show!  Watch the video, then check out the photos.

Haerbin Ice & Snow Festival

Haerbin Ice & Snow Festival--yes, that's a projection screen on the front!
  "And now a word from our sponsors!"
Of course there was a pagoda!

The photo has the white blur from my exhaled breath!

Our camera batteries kept getting too cold, so we couldn't take some pictures!  That was frustrating.  But we did get several good ones here.  We rode a Cinderella-style coach around for a little while--poor horse looked so frozen!

Some of the buildings had slides that you could go down.  It was pretty much fun.

Kirk had to do his slide on his feet, like skiing!
I kept it safe and slid on my bum--no sled or saucer, just my 4 layers of pants!
There were also some sculptures made from the ice.

They also had some sculptures made from snow instead of ice.
Of course there's a Buddha--this is China!

I found Nemo!

And "Ice Age"--is that a pun?
We were SO very cold, and our fingers and toes turned frigid within 30 seconds of getting off the bus.  We had the hand warmer packets that you shake up, but still it was super cold.  The proof is in this sculpture that shows the temperature--it's minus 31 degrees!!  That's Celsius, but in Fahrenheit, that's still minus 24 degrees!
We spent the whole time walking through and around all the creations, each one more amazing than the last.  But our favorite sight was when we saw the big, orange, full moon rising up over the Muslim Mosque.  Can you see it?

The moon is between the steeples here--the other dots are snowflakes!

Straight above my head and the mosque moon--cool, huh?
Wow, I'm cold again just writing this blog.  We stayed outside the whole time--so much to see that we didn't want to miss anything.  Our fingers and toes took a beating, but it was worth it!

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful! And I think below 40 degrees is "freezing!" I love looking at your pictures and traveling to exotic places even vicariously!