The opportunity of doing four weeks exchange programme at the Nanjing University of Astronautics and Aeronautics sounds quite fascinating doesn’t it? The university, the subject and the city. City that I never even heard of. Two weeks of Chinese language and culture lectures followed by two weeks of design and manufacturing courses. Everything completely out of my comfort zone, but that is exactly what I need. Some uncertainty that help me to get distracted from other things. Something exciting, new and challenging.
That were my thoughts in spring 2014. I made a decision to go before I even got accepted and a few months later I went on a trip that is still in my heart. The trip that put me into this mindset of constantly thinking about travelling. The trip that ruined me for life.
Maybe I should have started with this post before publishing three other ones on China. But then I think those three weekends somewhere else also contributed to my experience at Nanjing and it’s easier to think about Nanjing when I have those weekends in mind. To be honest, four weeks in Nanjing were filled with absolutely everything. From loads of excitement to the days when I absolutely hated everything and I just wanted to go home. But the last bit of sentence is usually not mentioned when I’m telling people about China. You know, it’s a bit embarrassing to tell someone that you went on the trip and wanted to go home after two weeks. However, there were many more good days in Nanjing rather than the bad ones and the bad ones actually helped me to learn a lot about myself.
Anyway, this post is about Nanjing. To visit this city is definitely not in everyone’s “to do” list and I did not see that many foreigners while there. China is huge and there are so many more things to see. However, if you have time it’s totally worth a visit. I absolutely loved the city even though not a single time I saw the blue sky there. Nanjing has it’s own charm and it is hard to talk about it. It’s better to show you that in photos, but even then you feel like something is missing. I will try anyway, enjoy!
Let’s start with the few moments from the streets. A lot is going on: traffic, little busy local businesses, ladies enjoying their square dances.
Nanjing is a good mixture of old and new, which I really enjoyed in the city.
Xuanwu lake, it is totally worth renting a boat and spending a few of hours there as well as in the park around the lake.
Another place that deserves a visit is Confucius Temple and it’s surroundings. Even though I had quite a limited amount of time for sightseeing in Nanjing, I came back here twice.
A few more moments of everyday life. Beautiful little streets not that far away from the Confucius temple. Football players on the wall for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Nanjing University of Astronautics and Aeronautics (NUAA) had a great campus a bit further away from the city center.
And it had a great aviation museum on the main campus
Nanjing Museum was one of my favorites in China. Maybe because it was the first one I visited.
Purple mountain is the perfect place to run away from the noisy city. That does not exactly apply for Sun Yatsen Mausoleum (the first photo), which is definitely worth a visit.
There is another place in the city where you can find a complete silence. I didn’t take any photos there, but once you see it you can never forget. Some place that is a must although really sad to visit is the Memorial of Nanjing Massacre.
And finally, for a person who has a degree in civil engineering, these photos cannot be ignored.
I was lucky enough to live in front of construction site and had a lot of moments when I was just waiting for something to happen. However, nothing happened and nobody died (as far as I’m aware), so maybe Chinese health and safety is not that bad (my previous lecturer would give me an F for this statement haha).
Anyway, that was my Nanjing in photos. Even after four weeks there I felt like I didn’t have enough time to see everything. A lot of time I had to sit in the classroom and often after classes it would soon get dark (silly time zone…). I might come back 🙂