Ha’erbin / .. and snow sculptures …

On our second day in Ha’erbin, we visited Sun Island, which lies on the northern side of the river.

   

Said river was, of course, totally frozen.

And although it was daytime, and quite sunny, it was bitterly cold – still hovering about the -15 degree point.

Sun Island is where you go if you like sculptures made out of snow – which is pretty much everyone, right?

Anyway, it has loads of sculptures.  And, when we were there, the sky was blue and there weren’t many people around.  It was like a photographer’s (or a meteorologist’s or sociopath’s) dream.

The sculptures were inspired by anything – from fairy tales (I think that this may be a representation of a kid pulling out a massive turnip…)

to historic figures

to nature and industry

to … ummm … Donkey Kong.

      

And some of it was “art with a message”.  The one on the left shows that the world is being destroyed by over-consumption (represented by a burger).  The one on the right is about people blocking out inconvenient and uncomfortable realities (like the cold weather, perhaps).

At the park’s centre, atop a frozen lake, there is a humongous snow sculpture. You can also rent dune buggies or husky-powered sleighs to take a zoom around the lake.

  

At this point, you are also very pleased to find a little glass cafe, serving warm drinks and cup noodles.

That if you aren’t tempted by the snow-log cabin option.

Or by the petting area, where you can feed real deer.  You can also purchase deer-skin clothes and mounted deer heads – all on display, which would really diminish the workplace expereience for the deers.

On our way out, we took a little detour (I’m not sure why, as the real cold had set in and we were ready to go … quickly).

    

And we discovered the “workshop” of the site, with ice-cutting machines, fresh-cut blocks and some sculptures where people had been practising (or honing, ha!) their skills.  It reminded us that our our hour or two wandering around the park would be nothing compared to the many hours expended by the sculptors in producing these large, yet incredibly detailed, pieces of work.

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