This weekend we went to Harbin to the Snow and Ice Festival.
Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head to the train station. Once on the train, Fashionista and I decided we like traveling on trains much better than planes. We slept for most of the ride, but I did stay awake long enough to see some of the countryside. Despite the few small country villages, the country side is bare ice land. We saw several people walking, to other villages I assume, through the snow and ice. I don’t know how they do that. It’s customary to them I suppose.
When we got to the Harbin station, our driver for the weekend met us. He was very nice and helpful. We drove to the hotel, checked in, and put on a few extra layers of clothing. My attire for the entire weekend was: four layers of pants, four layers of shirts, scarf and hats, three pairs of gloves, and three pairs of thick socks. I was warm, but I couldn’t put my arms down.
Saturday night we went to eat, then we walked the streets until it got dark so that we could go to the ice festival. Harbin is such a nice place, it’s pretty and looks clean. I loved it there.
When it got dark we went to the ice festival. It was a MAD HOUSE in the ticket room. They were bringing in people by the bus load. Trying to get in we couldn’t get through to get to the ticket booth. On top of that, a group of probably fifty were pushing through and knocking us everywhere. Kristin managed to get through; Laura, Fashionista, and I were still trying to get through. Finally, I just stuck my arm out to clothes line someone so that we could get through. My plan was successful.
I can’t even begin to describe the ice park. It was AMAZING. Everything made of complete ice. There were slides on most of the ice buildings, so of course we slid down them. After a little bit of wandering around we found the snow tubing area. When we got to the top I told the worker to spin me. He spun me alright. He grabbed both of my feet and slung me down the hill, by the time I got to the bottom I was dizzy. We wandered around for a little longer and took plenty of pictures. It was awesome. We also made a new friend, a Chinese gut wanted to take a picture with us so, of course, we did.
We went back to the hotel around nine. Planning on ordering in supper. Of course the first three of the four restaurants would deliver. We were starting to get worried that we weren’t going to get supper. If you know Fashionista and I you know this was a big kadoo. We have to eat. Finally we got KFC to deliver and we were all happy. After we ate we went to bed. The beds were like sleeping on cinder blocks with sheets, but we were so tired we didn’t care.
We got up Sunday morning and went to find some breakfast and coffee. After breakfast we layered up and headed to the snow sculpture park. The sculptures were INCREDIBLE. Those are some talented, warm blooded people, to be able to be out in the cold and sculpt those things. It was unbelievable, the size and detail of them. We walked around, climbed on stuff and took lots of pictures. We also saw our friend that we met at the ice park! He recognized us and we waved and went on about our business. Frozen hair, snot-cicles, and red cheeks we left to go to the train station.
We got to the station, got some snacks, and got in line to get on the train. Guess who we saw in line! Our friend! Crazy right? We boarded and that puts me here now, riding back to shenyang, listening to my iPod and the woman behind me snoring, writing my blog.