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Day 26 Nanjing

June 26, 2011
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June 21, 2011 (Tuesday)

Twenty-sixth day in China, fifth day in Nanjing: 中山陵 Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, 灵谷寺 Linggu Temple

Rode the bus out to 紫金山 Purple Mountain, stopping for noodles with a slice of pork on 解放路 Liberation Road while changing buses. “Liberation Road” is a common street name in Chinese cities, as is “中山路 Zhongshan Road”, named for 孫中山 Sun Zhongshan, known in English as 孫逸仙 Sun Yat-sen, the man revered as 國父 孫中山先生 “Father of the Nation.” Under Purple Mountain’s layered peaks and varied greens I visited his mausoleum. Walked a wooded path, along the road, through a little tourist trap of shops and eateries, down a long, straight tree-lined path, and up flights and flights of stone steps. The mausoleum I approached through a stone gate where was written, 天下為公 “The world is for the public.” The straight, flat path lead to a blue-roofed stone monument with a stele erected in the center, inscribed in gold, 民國國民黨葬 總理孫先生於此 中華民國十八年六月. Nestled against the mountain, the mausoleum sat atop several flights of stone stairs wide enough for six or eight lanes of traffic. Inscriptions in gold on the monumental stone building read 民族 民生 民權 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Principles_of_the_People) under 天地正氣. A larger-than-life sculpture of Sun Yat-sen carved by a French sculptor stood inside the mausoleum. The ceiling was colorful, and decorated with a white sun on a blue background over Sun Yat-sen’s head. The crowd squeezed into the burial chamber. A second sculpted Sun Yat-sen by a Czech artist lay on the sarcophagus. People took my picture on the steps. I looked down the mountain. Nanjing stood faint in the distance. The stone path narrowed below, away into the trees of Purple Mountain.

I climbed down and rode a shuttle to Linggu Temple. I walked the stone path to the 無樑殿 Beamless Hall, a brick vault from Ming times filled with historical displays about Sun Yat-sen and the fall of the Qing dynasty. People lit incense for the gold Buddhas in the renovated Linggu temple. A circular field with one tree served as a graveyard for soldiers killed defending Shanghai from the Japanese. A further path led to round and narow Linggu Pagoda. I spiraled six or seven flighs up stairs and caught a side view of Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum. Many shades of green swayed under a light rain.

I rode the bus and metro, drank British milk tea from 85 Degrees and ate mushrooms, rice and soup in a restaurant on 珠江路 Zhujiang Rd. I met my roommate Haitao, a Jiangsu salesman working in Guangzhou who travels to meet clients. We grabbed some egg & vegetable crepes from a man cooking outside his shop, with a practiced hand smearing globs of dough, cracking eggs, piling ingredients and folding crepes.

KM

PS: Three new posts tomorrow to wrap up Nanjing and Taishan!

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