Categories
Personal Travel

Tuesday January 6, 2009

The text for this post will be added later.

Categories
Personal Travel

Monday January 5, 2009

Today we got up early at 7:30.  However, we didn’t actually leave until 9am.  We had a quick breakfast at the noodle place again which was good.  We then got in a car with Justin’s sixth paternal aunt and a friend of hers.  They started driving and we left the main town of Ya’an and went up the moutainside.  After about 30-45 minutes, during which I thought I’d die several times because we’re driving up the side of a mountain with very little between a large drop and the road, we finally arrived at White Horse Spring (白马泉).  I tried to find a page in English about it, but there actually isn’t one.  It’s not something that anyone but Chinese ever go to.  There are a few pictures of it below.  You walk through some stone walkways and across a coy pond.  One of the cool things is what we went for mainly which was the spring.  Justin said that when it’s raining it sounds like horses due to the rain falling into the spring.  It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but although it was cold out, there was steam so it had to have been a hot spring.  If the weather was bettter we would have next walked up the mountain, but it was raining and the trail is just bare ground so it wasn’t really a good idea.

After we left the spring, we went back a little bit and walked around a recreation of a traditional chinese village.  There are pictures of this below, but a few of the interesting parts of this was that there were little waterfalls which were quite beautiful and soothing.  Also, although this was meant to look traditional, there was a bar there with tons of beer signs all over the place – looked like something you’d  see in America actually.

Next we drove back some more and took a detour.  After some more driving up steep mountainside, we ended up at the Ya’an Ecological  Zoo (碧峰峡).  I think because of the season when we went along with the time, there was very few people there at all.  The trip starts off with a short bus trip through open cages of lions, tigers and bears (oh my!).  After going through several cages and being quite close to wild animals (although being inside a bus), we were let off after we had safely passed the cages.  For the most part, I’ll let the pictures below do the talking.  We walked around the ecological zoo for a total of four hours, although it didn’t seem that long until after we finally got done.  To give a scope of how big this place was, there was a whole other section which housed pandas that we didn’t go to – that alone would have been at least another three hours.  I completely drained the camera battery and we had forgotten our other camera or else there would be even more pictures than are shown below.  We got to see almost ever type of animal, see many different shows – all of which had set times but since we were the only people there they just did them immediately – and even got to feed a white lion (from several feet away).  At one point about half-way through we entered an enourmous aviary which is the largest aviary in Asia (according to the zoo itself).

Once we eventually left, we went to dinner at a restaurant which was by a church.  After dinner we went back to our apartment for a short while and then left again to see more of Justin’s family.  This time it was his Mom’s side of the family and it was a nice apartment.  Of course, the people were very nice and the food was great.  There are a few pictures below at the end of several of the people including their kid.  It was funny because the kid decided while we were sitting on the couch that he wanted to heat up some oranges so he just threw them on the gas heater (seemed kinda dangerous) and we had to get them off before they burnt and caught fire.  It was fun.  🙂  His cousin gave me a coin which is actually from ancient China.  Dad has some replicas that are larger than the real thing, so I recognized it when he gave me it.  Obviously, they’re not common anymore so it was a very nice gift.

After dinner we went to Justin’s parents’ apartment where we tried to fix their Internet since it didn’t seem to be working.  This was interesting to me for a few reasons.  First, I finally got to see his house and Snowball – the family dog.  Many months ago they got the dog and showed Justin on video chat and let me name him.  I don’t know what it would be in Chinese, but I do know that it’s named snowball.  🙂  Second, I haven’t actually worked on a dsl connection since I worked at CSINet back in 2003.  So, I had to try to remember troubleshooting info and error codes from that long ago which wasn’t easy.  After setting it up on Justin’s laptop we got a bit further but decided that it would be best to just call the ISP in the morning so we left for the other apartment for sleep.