the Songhua river is solidly frozen, a strong wind is blowing to remind you it is cold, very cold.
the ice blocks are then cut to the required size by a huge circular saw
red laterns bungle from icy posts. Inside you can see the wiring fo the illumination
most of the ice sculptures are in Zhaolin Park
and yes, they have a Mc Donald's here
it is minus 25 C and the wind is blowing so you better bundle up
in the absence of customers this sledchair dog takes a quick powernap
the Harbin skyline seen from the river
you can take a tour over the frozen river
there is a steady supply of ice blocks from the river
It was a small sleepy village until 1898 when Harbin
became a station on the Russian build Trans Manchurian Railway that connects Chita to Vladivostov.
The railway was
managed from Harbin and the large influx of Russians caused a rapid growth and with 5+ million locals it is presently the largest
city in Northeastern China.
Under Japanese occupation during WWII the infamous Unit 731 under Shiro Ishii committed war
crimes here with medical experiments on prisoners. After the war the USA granted immunity to the main perpetrators in exchange
for information on biological warfare.
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 December 2004 we
visited Harbin to see the ice sculptures, but most of them were stil in the construction fase.
Most impressing however was the
weather. At noon we clocked a whopping 25 deg C. Minus that is.... Brrrrrrrr!
a friendly girl in the hotel reminds us it's Christmas time
yes, we are in the coldest spot
dragons on ice
moving the large blocks is hard work, but it keeps you warm
in the evening we check out the outside shops. Brrrrrr
so people seek shelter in tents with a makeshift stove, note the heap of coal