Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Stopover in Yinchuan

I tried to upload some photos of Haiyuan, my home for the month, but the Internet is too slow tonight.  So I'll go back a few days and treat you to a day in Yinchuan, since I already had the photos loaded.

We had thought we would go from Beijing to Yinchuan (the biggest city of the province) and immediately get on a bus to Haiyuan (the town we are teaching in, about 4 hours south).  However, on the bus we were told that we'd be staying two nights in Yinchuan.  Who knew?  Here are two nights and a day in the capital of Ningxia.

So far the local officials have given us two banquets.  Here is the first, in Yinchuan, featuring many fun dishes including these naturally purple mashed potatoes with sprinkles on top.

Raw fish, anyone?  I tried the salmon.

First night's view from my hotel: Covered market

The old Drum Tower was just a block from our hotel and each night there was a variety show there.

Xi Ta, a thousand-year-old Taoist(?) tower

Several of us climbed the zillion steps of Xi Ta.  Here is a view on the way up...

...a view from the top...

...and another tower-top view of Yinchuan

At the top, with the tiny stairwell in the foreground.

Another view from the top of the tower.

Here is the tower seen from the park at the bottom.  I loved all the birds circling around it since I see very little wildlife in China.  It looks ominous here but it was actually quite nice.

Some of my team

We visited the south gate mosque, which allows tourists

For sale at the mosque

Prayer room

There was a tiny museum at the mosque and I ran into a family from Qufu, the little town I lived in for two years way across the country.  What are the chances?

Our last meal in Yinchuan was a dumpling feast.

Dumpling assembly lines.

There you have it!  The next day we got on a bus and came down to Haiyuan.  It's been great so far... busy every day with lots of teaching.  I'll update more when I have time!

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