the Songhua river is solidly frozen
ice blocks are cut to the required size
icy laterns
in the park
yes, they have a Mc Donald's
it is minus 25 and the wind is blowing so you have to bundle up
a sleddog takes a nap
a view from the river towards the town
you can take a tour over the river
there is a steady supply of ice blocks
Harbin
Harbin is a large city on the Songhua river in northern China.
The city was founded in 1898 as a station on the Russian build railway that connects Harbin to Vladivostov.
 
Humans roamed here already in 2200 BC and the founder of the Jin dynasty was born in the area.
 
Thanks to the brutally cold winters, Harbin is known as the Ice City. and famous for the annual Light Latern Festival, when
the town is beautified with illuminated ice sculptures.
 
In the 20th century Russian influence was large and even today Harbin has a distinct Russian touch.
In December 2004 we visited to see the city and its ice sculptures, most of which were still in the build-up stage.
Most impressing however was the weather: at noon we clocked  a whopping 27 degrees C. Minus that is.
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a friendly girl in the hotel reminds us it's Christmas time
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we are in the coldest spot
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dragons on ice
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moving the blocks is hard work, but it keeps you warm
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in the evening we check out the outside shops. Brrrrrr
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a makeshift stove, note the heap of coal
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