Monday, 14 March 2011


Dusk in Xidi by joe with a camera
Dusk in Xidi a photo by joe with a camera on Flickr.

Well, we've finally got out of Nanjing! A day's fieldwork down in neighbouring Anhui Province involved an overnight train there and back, a few hours looking at rocks and collecting fossils, and a tourist trip to the nearby town of Xidi.

Xidi is a small town in rural Anhui, not far from the amazing Huangshan mountain area (as seen in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon"). The hills surrounding it are not on that scale, but still steep forested mountains with crags and aesthetic-looking pines...
The town is famous for having produced a high number of "number one scholars" - the best in their year in the whole country - and has been a thriving business community for a long time. Some of the houses are over a thousand years old, and wandering among the alleyways and into the buildings is a strange experience. It is now a World Heritage Site due to the remarkable preservation of the old buildings, and this includes all the traditional elements you could want to see... stone troughs with goldfish in, hidden bonsai gardens amongst dripping walls, astounding carved wooden screens inside dimly lit houses, open rooves with the martins nesting on the walls... it's a real taste of the Old China, which is so rarely preserved elsewhere.

There will be quite a few photos from here going up on Flickr, for those who want to explore this forgotten world a bit further...

No comments:

Post a Comment