Feb 16 Private Garden, Confucius Temple, Old Town
We toured a private garden from the MIng dynasty. There were 14 private gardens that the emperor gave to his generals, and this is the only one left. It is over 600 years old. It was very beautiful, quiet and peaceful in the middle of a loud city. Our guide was Jessica, she told us all about the gardens, the feng shui, and the history.
After the gardens we walked to Nanjing Old Town. We toured a Confucius temple, and Richard and Evie lit some incense and said a prayer. Then we walked inside the temple and saw all the little tags that people had written on and tied at the altar. I told Evie they were people's prayers, and she asked which one was hers! It was so cute. I had to explain that hers wasn't there, that some people bought the tags and wrote their prayers on them. Jin said that many were the prayers of parents that their children would pass their tests! There were many beautiful murals made of jade and ivory that told stories f the life of Confucius. We also saw a musical performance (something about moonlight on the spring river? Jin said it was the most famous instrumental in china!) and Evie was enchanted by the zitar? zizzer? I don't know the name of it. At the end, Mr. Adams bought one of the candy apple skewers and shared with the kids. They are sour little crabapples, skewered whole and then dipped in sugar syrup. Then they are wrapped in edible rice paper. Our guide said that these were safe to eat because they didn't have all the food coloring that the ones sold on the street do. (they ones at the street vendors are bright red!)
After the temple we walked around the little shops. The kids liked the pet market and the little shops with just about anything you could want. Em wanted to shop - shoes, bags, toys, even whole shops with just socks and underwear! We found two little pleasant goat stuffed animals (one for Jack, one for Bubba) so now we just need to find the girl pleasant goat for Evie.
tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou!