This is an inland city and known to me as a food city. It’s more similar to Shanghai than Beijing, mostly maybe it’s a southern city. It’s big, including three parts of HanKou, HanYang and WuChang. Ever since they have got a new major, the city has been under reconstruction for quite a while. So it’s really dusty when i was there.
Since it’s more like a city for life instead of for tourists, I’ll show the city in different aspects instead of in time sequence.
Huang He Lou. 黄鹤楼
Almost all the Chinese students know this place from the ancient poem about it. I was surprised to know it’s actually in Wuhan two years ago. Sorry, I was bad in geography >_< Before I went there, QQ told me it’s no big deal, just a tower. He talks about it like I talking about Jin Mao Tower. We just get used to any fancy thing in hometown. But when we exited some tunnel under the bridge, and the magnificent tower feels like suddenly popping out from nowhere, and took my breath for a tiny second.
If you noticed, the three round balls in the left bottom are the old top on the tower, which you can see the rebuilt one up there now. It’s no surprise since the tower was there since Tang Dynasty and has been on fire, teared down, redesign, rebuilt so many times.
The bridge in the background is the first bridge on Yangtze River, which brought convenience to people and boost the city every since.
Inside the tower, there’re ornaments from different dynasties, mostly including the painting, calligraphy and furniture.
I like the painting style above. The upper colorful one shows the big wave washing the sands, colliding each other. It’s huge on a high wall, and can’t help marveling at it for a while. I took pic of them from a small portion of another wall painting next to the wave one. This one is depicting the life and celebrities related to this tower. The guy is the poet from Tang Dynasty, whose poem is my favorite style. It’s sad he’s slightly drunk during creation of poems, named as God of Poems by later generations. His poem is normally making me feel the vastness of the world and the longness of the history and the attitude of enjoying the world as a tiny human. and have fun and play with the game called life.
Here’s a scroll of calligraphy QQ and I really like. Besides the nice font and right structure, the most eye-appealing part is some part of the character is thicker than the rest, somehow making the effect of 3 dimension and make the characters pop out a lot. Love it, and we stood there and enjoy the beauty for a while.
After having left the tower, we moved on. The area has been expanded and has a series of spots followed.
Surprisingly, unlike the barren Beijing, Wuhan’s winter still has leaves around, and still have blooming willows. That absolutely made us feel like in autumn or spring again.
Also, in the garden, they have a wall of the tomb calligraphy. People in the past, carve on the tomb or slate all the calligraphy. And somehow they are gathered and displayed here.
There’s a yard through a door on the side. When we stepped in, there’s a sudden gust of wind, shaking all the autumn leaves down, and falling down, like snow, except it’s sunny and it’s cheering golden snow with beautiful sound and it’s cool soft wind. We stopped at the door, jeez it’s just so romantic. I didn’t raise the camera, but just to enjoy it with every pore with every breath with every happiness with QQ. Well, I admit, partly, truth is, it’s hard to take pic of falling snow. :p
WuHan University, 武汉大学
It’s QQ’s university and I’ve been hearing how beautiful the cherry blossom is. Too bad it was winter when I visited, but still I got a feeling of the history inside the campus and the three ancient buildings do make it feel different from SJTU.
The first impression was, there’re so many trees! old tall clean trees lining the sideways, surrounding the playground, shading the libraries and lovers.
Can you believe it? The forest covering hill side, is the campus. And in winter, all the different style of trees made the campus even more colorful. Then QQ led me to the first three buildings of their campus, and those building style has strong sense of the serious study and the smell from last century. Here you feel it’s quiet and can focus on study and research. And you can see people happy enjoying sharing thoughts and discussing ideas. How lovely.
Thinking of doing project or having lessons in these kind of buildings, I really envy that. Also, girls’ dorms are also in these old buildings, how happy! And the cherry blossom is right before the dorms. Aww, it’s really a lovely campus. Somehow, I wish if we have the campus tour in China, our choice might be more dynamic. Except for the research, atmosphere in campus differs a lot. USC ranked above UCLA on EE, but if I’ve seen UCLA before hand, that might be a different story.
OK, next topic will be my favorite actually and it’s a very important element of people’s life there. Zoey commented on my previous blog that it was the first blog about China as hometown, without food in it. So, sit tight…
Again, I’ve been hearing QQ talking about all the delicacy there for 2 years and I just can’t wait to try them all. One thing I’m proud of China is, every area has its different local delicacy. And they are really different, more difference than between maple syrup and syrup, and than between In-n-Out and hamburger. :p I don’t know how to make all the names to English. So, meh. Let’s see..
Local people like to use pot to boil pork and lotus root together and make delicious soup. It’s healthy, since soup like this has all the nutrients, yummy and not making people fat. Check QQ and all my friends from there, and you know it’s true. I had a home style, and liked it a lot~!
Proudly and shamelessly, I made that once, when I never ate it before. And this time I ate the authentic ones. They use hug fried pan, and use egg and soy milk base to lay out a big skin, then put another thin layer of sticky rice over it, then add-ons like minced beef, pickled veggie, minced mushroom, dried tofu, etc. etc. then they use plate to help cut the giant rice cake into half, and flip each half around and then cute each half into even smaller pieces.
We were lucky and saw a guy did it from beginning and got taste the first bite of this big batch. Omg, it’s sooooo good and smells so fresh and yummy. The soymilk flavo actually made it special and boost the goodness of mushroom. (if you know me, you should know i hate mushroom generally). I love this so much.
户部巷 （Hu Bu Lane）
This is a local street where people make and sell their food along the road. It’s just like the old good days. When you walk there, you are surrounded by food, and they are all cheap enough. We stuffed ourselves under 50 RMB. <3
The first thing we saw at the entrance is the candy makers. One is using the flour to make little tiny figurine, serving as lollipop. Another one is using the liquid sugar, and draw on a hot pan, so that it gets solid and you can hold the drawing up later. We had that in Shanghai a lot in the past. I used to order different style of drawings like bird, mouse or flowers. They can make many vivid characters. I really hope these things can last, not buried by the modern culture. Chinese cultural thing is really precious and cute and creative in a simple way.
Then all the yummy things
Also, spicy chicken wings, grilled mutton and grilled tofu, fried stinky tofu all are our favorites!
Besides the above, there’re also two branded restaurants we love. One is 小张烤鱼 grilled fish. The other is 周黑鸭，soysauced and spicy duck.
And 热干面 (hot dry noodle, which made by a different process making it have to be eaten right away it’s made) is a must try too.
Modern City Life
Besides the preserved local delicacy, the city is building new stuffs a lot. New malls pop out fast. Even QQ hasn’t been there before. We paid them visits and it’s before Christmas, so the decoration is really cute.
Finally, with the whatever craze, we got a bear larger than me. Also, signing… and happy 2012!