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
Harbin
Harbin is a large city on the Songhua river in northern China.
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!
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a friendly girl in the hotel reminds us it's Christmas time
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yes, we are in the coldest spot
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dragons on ice
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moving the large 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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so people seek shelter in tents with a makeshift stove, note the heap of coal
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