Friday night, I hopped on a plane and headed up north to Harbin, China. Harbin has an annual Ice and Snow Festival and we made it there just in time. The weather here in China is getting warmer now that it is officially Spring. (Yes, I know that Spring doesn't come until March 20th or so other places, but here on the Lunar calendar, we are in Spring!) The weather has definitely become warmer over the last couple weeks. Friends who went to Harbin before Chinese New Year reported temperatures of -40C/-40F and this past weekend, we only saw -10C/14F. During the day, it was even up to 1C/33F! Luckily, the snow and ice was still there but we sure noticed a little melting happening.
Our first stop on Saturday morning was to see the Siberian tigers. This was very sad but also amazing to see such huge animals so close. We saw tigers of various ages, lions, and even a couple ligers! Yes! Real ligers!
Next we went over to the snow sculpture park.
Later, we headed over to the 10th Annual Harbin Ice and Snow World.
We had to watch for falling ice.
The following day, we started off by going to see the polar bear swimmers. These men and women dove into freezing cold water that had just had the ice removed from it moments earlier. It was cold just to watch. We cheered them on!
Later, we went to the Disney Ice Festival. This place was smaller and not as crowded. There were still ice sculptures and buildings made of ice all lit up and several more slides.
I tried to film my first ride down but got scared and ended up filming the slide for a second before filming my coat.
I tried a second time but didn't end up pushing record because of either fright or my gloves. So, I gave it one more go. On the third time down, I ended up getting stuck for a moment, thinking it was going to be so slow and then speeding up pretty quickly. Fun time!
In the evening, we headed back to the airport and back to Beijing.