What's on, Dalian ?
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
As usual, I've taken another long break in my writing and since the last post, have moved to Dalian in China. Da-whaat ? This is the same Dalian brought to the rest of the world in 'The World is Flat' and was supposed to be the next Bangalore. In many ways, this port city has surpassed, and at the same time, not lived up to the expectations of what many in the IT industry thought would be the next outsourcing hub in Asia. However, Dalian has been rated in the past as one of the best cities to live in China with its clean air, proximity to the ocean and to mountains. The city that I'll call home for the next year or so seems to have a bit to offer with its parks, wide open squares and mountain scenery.
Dalian is located almost at the tip of the Liaoning peninsula, over looking the Bohai sea and is quite strategically located. It was due to this location, that the area has been colonized at one time or the other by the Russians and the Japanese and multiple wars have been fought over this piece of land. Due to this, the city, has a Russian street and heavy Japanese influence.
The city itself is placed in the middle of range of hills which make the area quite pretty to look at. The city has plenty of public squares from the Zhongshan Square to the People's Square and the very very large Xinghai Square which is touted as the largest square in Asia. The area experiences four distinct seasons and the end of winter is marked by wildflowers growing in the grass, cherry trees blossoming and multi-coloured azaleas lining the roadside.
The Longwangtang Park seemed to be the best place to view the cherry blossoms as they were supposed to have a festival at that time. We got into the car expecting the flowers to be all bloomed and ready for the barrage of pictures we were going to take. Once we reached there, it turned out that that we were 2 weeks early and the flowers had not bloomed yet.
Our second trip was much more successful. The flowers had blossomed and what a sight it was! The park was filled with hundreds of trees that were full of white and pink flowers. The visitor to the park seemed to make quite a day of it with picnics and camping under the trees and eating out at the stalls that seemed to have popped up selling cherry blossom themed knick knack such as fans, small wreaths and toys.
The photographers were also out in full strength, with their array of cameras and lenses and what not taking their fancy pictures. And then there was me with my point and shoot. Set on 'Digital Macro'. And when I felt a little adventurous, I'd change the ISO setting a bit or use the sepia filter and pat myself on the back telling myself - "its not about the equipment, its about the photographer". And step off into dreamland wondering when I'd pick up an SLR of my own.
This spring and summer brings the promise of many good trips around the area - the beach, zoo, a road along the ocean and hopefully many more. Hopefully, I'll have the time...and the inclination, to write about these short trips in Dalian and about this city.
Trampled byY Trip at Tuesday, May 01, 2012