Everything is new under the Middle Kingdom sun. At least it feels like it, both for me and my friend. Wuhan is different every day, and the same as well, and that’s what I love about it. There might be a restaurant in a certain spot one week that won’t be there the next week. There might be wasteland one week, which turns into a five-star hotel the next. Our second day started with taking the underground to Jiyuqiao, which is the first stop on the Wuchang (“my”) side of the Yangtze river. The reason for this is that most taxis serving Hankou can’t drive over the river to Wuchang. Different cabs have different colours to note the areas they’re serving. Hankou taxis are yellow, Hanyang taxis are orange, Wuchang taxis are green, and special all-city taxis are blue.
In Jiyuqiao we loaded our rucksacks with sweet bean paste baozis from a street vendour, and some dragonfruit from a nearby fruit stall. We (I) started talking with the owners and ended up staying at the stall for about half an hour. They were so thrilled that they gave us yoghurt, nuts and sunflower seeds on the top. We left for the Yellow Crane Tower with our send-offs. There were no clouds to be seen in the sky, and the temperature keeps rising at about 1.5 ‘C a day. Right now, it’s about 26 ‘C outside. At the tower, there were many domestic tourists, and it certainly felt more like performing tourist service than when I was there with my family (there weren’t many other people in March). When we felt our crowd-quota fill up, we ventured deeper into the park where there were waterfalls and small streams leading to ponds. It was peaceful and we stayed there for some time. On our way down we spotted an old calligraphy painter’s atelier. My friend has some big parties coming up this summer, and we got some detailed calligraphy art as a gift to her friends at home. With these findings, we decided to check out Tanhualin, which is a part of Wuchang situated on the northern side of the Yellow Crane mountain. The area looks remarkably European (this is the area where the Swedish priests settled long ago). The pictures are better tellers than words in this case, and I’ll upload therm here later. So stay tuned! 😀
At this point, we had no idea what we would experience in the next few hours. The Han show was going to be an unforgettable experience. The theatre is built for this show, and this show only. It certainly made sense afterwards. There was a pool of water in front of the stage. The bench rows moved downwards and to the sides. There were water scooters making somersaults in the basin. Acrobats jumped from 30 metres into the basin, doing somersaults in the air, and stayed underwater for several minutes. There were pyrotechnics and human pyramids. There were three people standing upside down on top of each other without support. There were giant swings, like village swings, where three people stood at once, and when the swing reached the top position, the outermost acrobats jumped into the water in unison through a real waterfall coming down from the ceiling. Being an acrobat in China is definitely not a profession for the faint-hearted.