Exploring Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital, day 1

Exploring Wuhan, Hubei's provincial capital, day 1
WUHAN, HUBEI — After totality was over on July 22, the clouds moved in, and watching the end of the eclipse was unrewarding. So, we packed up our stuff and set off to explore this sprawling city of 9 million people. We had an ambitious plan: visit Wuhan University, Hubei Provincial Museum, Huang He Lou (Yellow Crane Tower), Wuhan Botanical Gardens, Mo Shan, maybe go shopping … We did about half those things, partly because we chose to go to the museum first (it’s really big!) and partly because we took the right bus, going the wrong direction, to visit the tower. We got a cheap (2 yuan) hour’s long tour of Wuhan by taking the long way to Yellow Crane Tower. The provincial museum is fairly new, and showcases a huge collection of 2200-year-old artifacts unearthed in the late 1970s from sites in the northern part of Hubei. There is also a section highlighting the prehistory of Hubei — including fossils of Homo erectus (Yunxian Man) and contemporary animals. [Note to creationists: those animals did not include dinosaurs. Dinosaurs did NOT co-exist with humans in China, or anywhere else for that matter. This sign makes that concept very clear.] ...

A Chinese wedding celebration: getting there is half the fun 3

HUANGJIAKOU, HUBEI — Last weekend, I went on a trip with a friend to see her friend get married. Since I haven’t written anything lately about what I’ve been doing, now’s a good time to tell you what I’ve been up since classes ended July 3. Elektra (her English name) recently graduated from the Jishou Teachers College. Last summer, she worked in Guangzhou with a young man just three years older than she. He was getting married this month, and so invited Elektra to the wedding in Hubei. She knew I was planning on visiting Hubei this summer, and mentioned her trip there. I asked if I could go along. The couple was cool with the idea, so Elektra and I left last Thursday for Hubei. Quick geography lesson: Hubei 湖北 is the province immediately north of Hunan 湖南. They get their names from proximity to Dongting Lake 洞庭湖, near the city of Yueyang 岳阳. “Hu” 湖 means “lake. “Bei” 北 is “north,” and “nan” 南 is “south.” Jishou is in the western part of Hunan, but we were going to the eastern part of Hubei, near Wuhan, the provincial capital. In China, as in Wyoming, where I used to ...
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