23 August 2014

Shenyang, Timezone GMT +8

 I was offline for a while, because during my work trip tho Shenyang in China, local censorship cut me off from all social networks. After coming back, a heavy summer flu struck me down for a few days, but Im slowly recovering.
It was great to have some time in the northeast of China, and together with four colleagues I went to the Benxi caves. Never do it on a Sunday during school holidays - we waited for an hour walking through the narrow caves before we finally got on the boat that took us along the river into the mountain to see the stalagmites and stalagtites. "Waiting" in a Chinese line means that constantly somebody pushes into your back or tries to push in in front of you... not a pleasant experience. But the actual cave and boat trip was great! While it was about 30 C outside, we only had about 14 C in the cave!
After that, we went to see the local fossile museum - great collection of amazing animals, I also liked the crystal exhibits very much. The pilots were hungry after that tour, so before going on the 1,5 hour drive back to Shenyang, they stopped for some food. I was glad I had brought my own sandwiches, as the meals didn´t look or smell too inviting for me as a vegetarian ;)
It was great to visit the site of the ancient culture of a matriarchal tribe that had lived in the Shenyang area about 7200 years ago. If only there was more information in English, as my Chinese is pretty limited... But I understood that they already then had a totem or a myth about a sun bird, or rather a "red phoenix", the female counterpart of the "dragon".
Going on the metro train, it was a bit exhausting to be stared at the whole time, but it´s understandable - there are barely any foreigners at all in this city. It was a great adventure!

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