Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Xuchang and Liu Bei

One high-speed-train stop south of Zhengzhou is the city of Xuchang. I had never had cause to go there until a couple of weeks ago, when I spent half a day there. Like many cities in China, it has was formerly a capital city.

Xuchang Wenfang Pagoda, south east of the old city

The pagoda above was my first stop, but unfortunately it didn't seem to be open for climbing. There was a museum on the grounds showing some other famous pagodas around the world (including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower)!

The old city had a wall and a moat, and although I couldn't find any trace of the wall, the moat remains and is something of a tourist attraction. At least you can take a boat trip along the waterway if you like.

Xuchang was named one of China's most livable cities. While it is hard to comment on it, I did like it for its size (relatively small compared to Zhengzhou), and excellent market. The downtown area is very pedestrian friendly, but outside is a warren of multi-lane expressways.

I realize livestock at the market isn't everyone's cup of tea. I certainly wouldn't know how to kill and pluck a chicken. But lots of other people do. When I was in Guilin around Chinese New Year, I saw a woman waiting for a bus with a live duck in a bag. It kept poking its head out of the bag, and she kept pushing it back in.

I try to picture it happening in Toronto.

There are two palace complexes in the old city--one formerly belonging to Liu Bei, and the other to former Prime Minister Cao. The history of the conflict between these two is summarized here, and although Liu Bei has been somewhat idealized as a sort of Confucian philosopher king, probably most Chinese know more of his story as told through popular soap operas rather than real history.

Liu Bei's palace, from the public square across the street.

Bell Tower. Every place in China has a bell tower and a drum tower.
Note: the naming rights were not purchased by Bell Canada.

Concubine's residence

View from the top.

Judging by the height of the buildings near the complex, there must have been some ordnance limiting new construction to the height of the temple at the heart of the palace.

On to the Prime Minister's palace.

The poetry-composing pavilion

 Tumult in the greeting hall.

Stage in the poetry-composing pavilion

The former Prime Minister's palace also had some underground hangouts for soldiers--a series of tunnels and storage areas equipped with various traps and murder holes.

Somehow, according to travel sites, I missed the most important tourist sites in Xuchang. But I was happy anyway.

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