It was absolutely amazing! But soo ridiculously cold. How cold you ask? -29 degrees Fahrenheit cold. Which is like frozen tundra cold. Frostbite cold. Your handwarmers freeze kind of cold. Ice on your eyelashes kind of cold (seriously). But it was worth it! All the ice is taken from the local river, which is amazing when you look at how huge these ice sculptures are.
This is Harbin's most famous piece of architecture... St. Sophia's church. Love the Russian influence.
Beautiful European style streets. I really liked the feel of Harbin, felt very different than other Chinese cities.
And I took a picture of this girl because I could not get over the fact that it was -29F and she was walking around in a skirt with just fishnet stockings (which I guess you can't really see with the picture! But I was wearing the equivalent of a sleeping bag and was uncomfortably cold!)
Chinese New Year starts soon and it's the year of the Rabbit! Snow sculptures
"Please don't make me go over that bridge. It's slippery and I am freezing and I hope my nose and toes aren't frostbitten."
We went to a Siberian tiger park. They were very well fed tigers. We could have bought a live chicken to feed to the tiger, but no one in our tour group sprung for the $4.50 it would have cost.
And this is a little coffee shop igloo where we huddled for warmth and a hot cup of tea while we let our fingers and toes defrost a bit.
As you can see, it was cold, but awesome.... if you ever happen to find yourself in China between January and February, definitely take the 2 hour flight from Beijing to Harbin to see one of the biggest and best ice festivals there is!
Tomorrow is the first day of the Chinese New Year (which goes by the lunar calendar). It is beautiful around here with red lanterns hung everywhere.... and I have heard it will be fireworks galore.
...more on Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, tomorrow!