Today was a very good day! Although Nanjing hasn't got the most to offer it does have something which I would say definitely makes it worth coming, and I would seriously recommend to anybody. Today we went to the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. It was without a doubt one of the most interesting/educational places I think I've ever been to in China. In just a little under three hours you are taken on a journey to experience what it was like to be in Nanjing during the Japanese invasion of China. The things that had occurred were absolutely atrocious. Over a period of two weeks 300,000 people had been savagely tortured, raped and slaughtered by the invading Japanese army. The memorial hall had corridors after corridors, rooms after rooms of pictures, recovered items and written literature on the walls detailing the happenings of the massacre. Towards the end of the tour you even get to see the excavated remains (original) of those who had been mass buried in Nanjing. These hangars offer a rather ethereal yet morbid atmosphere that makes it hard to believe the skeletons of all those in front of you had suffered such a cruel fate. I saw one slogan during the visit that has and will stay firmly in my mind which I also feel can some up the feelings one may have at the end of such an intense experience: 'forgiven but never forgotten'.
But not all was depressing today. After a knowledge-fuelled morning we set of for the old city wall near XuanWu lake which boasts a 9.7 km walk around it if you're up for the challenge in such humid weather - then again we did see some locals running there which seems utterly absurd to be honest. The lake has several islands which can be reached by bridges each offering something different; bamboo forests, bonzai trees, particularly colourful flowering plants, as well as traditional style pagodas and buildings. It was a lovely walk around the lake albeit a hot one.
After the walk we ventured to another recommended restaurant and ate some more local dishes, with my particular favourite being the fried dumplings. Once again we washed this down with some Ha'erbin beer.
Another fun filled day. Tomorrow we set off for Shangai in the early hours of the morning. Until next time :)