Nanjing – Day 2

What a busy day! We hopped on the bus this morning and headed to the Linggu Temple Scenic Area where the magnificent Sun Yatsen Mausoleum is situated. Dr. Sun Yatsen is recognised by the Chinese as ‘father of modern China’ and when he died in Beijing in 1925, his wish was to be buried in Nanjing. The mausoleum was built on the top of a hill overlooking eastern Nanjing with amazing views, some 392 steps up! The stone stairway to the top was very beautiful and already very busy with many tourists.  The students and staff were up to the top in a flash and were able to wander through the small memorial chamber (the crypt itself is not accessible) with the wall’s carvings outlining the three principles that Dr. Sun formulated – nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood.

This was followed by a visit to the Confucius Temple market where we shopped and ate lunch. The students are becoming very good at bartering and have found some amazing (and interesting!) gifts to bring home to Australia.

Finally, we visited Nanjing’s Presidential Palace – the palace has been rebuilt several times over the past 600 years and has housed on and off many emperors, government parties and officials. We learnt that during the Japanese invasion of Nanjing prior to World War 2, a Chinese politician who was collaborating with the Japanese also took residence here. As you could imagine, the palace has many stories to tell and it is has now been converted into a museum. The palace grounds are huge and it took us several hours to explore the different buildings, rooms and features including the air raid shelter, stables and magnificent gardens.

The staff (followed by the students) came across a photo shoot room where many were dressed up in either traditional Chinese costumes or military outfits. Many laughs were shared when we were given the final product to take home as a souvenir of our trip!

Students and staff will be off to bed early tonight – tomorrow we have a 6am wake-up call as we head to the airport to board a flight to Xian at 10.30am. The Terracotta Warriors are almost in sight!

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