This summer in Ningbo, it has been either unbearably hot or rainy. Because of this, we have done only a limited amount of wandering around/exploring vs. other areas we have lived. On a day that was not quite so humid, Landon and I set out with the goal of finding the bigger boats that are east of us on the Fenghua river. Our hotel is located on the Yuyao river, but it runs into the Fenghua river very close to our hotel. Our first goal was to check out the “howling wolf building” as Landon, and some of Austin’s coworkers, like to call it. This building is completely vacant, but every night, it lights up in beautiful patterns and is a stunning part of the Ningbo skyline. Others in our group think it looks more like a tulip than a howling wolf, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.
To get there, we crossed over our river to the area of land in between the two rivers, then across the 2nd bridge to the wolf building. The bridge overshot the building by quite a distance, so we had to back track to stand at the foot of the building we have long admired from our hotel. This building is very close to the river, so we figured we could find a river walk nearby to take us to the boats. Turns out, that area is full of dilapidated warehouses and overgrown vacant lots, so we had to walk further than I anticipated to find the boats. When we finally did find them, I had to take a break because I was so exhausted from walking! Landon was a happy camper though, watching the boats go up and down the river.
As we approached the river walk area, a new mixed-use building project was pumping out the instrumental smooth jazz versions of such epic ballads as “My Heart Will Go On” and “Hero.” It was amusing. As soon as we got to the river walk, Landon took off down the path stretching his legs after the long stroller ride.
Soon, we came to this very long line of boats. These look like regional shipping boats, and reminded me of the domestic shipping boats that we saw at the Old Port of Jakarta. The paint was similar, but the shape of the boats are uniquely Chinese. Each had a number, so we had fun going down the row of boats and reading all the numbers.
The river, by our hotel, the Yuyao river, has no grass or anything along its banks. It is pure mud. There is a dam just a little upriver, so I think this might have something to do with it, but it seems to be a fairly polluted, sterile river. The Fenghua river had plants growing along it, and more birds living along the banks. It made it seem more… natural.
One of our favorite activities is to watch the excavator barges that dredge the river. Using regular construction excavators, these barges go along the river and dredge up mud one scoop at a time. Cargo barges pull alongside the excavators and haul the mud to who knows where. On our river, there are just small mud hauling barges. On this bigger river, the excavator first pulled up mud and put it in a small mud barge. A bigger barge came up river and turned around right in the middle of the river! We were sure that the excavator barge and the big barge were going to crash, but they pulled up next to each other and the excavator started putting mud from the small barge into the big barge. I wish I could ask them about their methods, but they are out in the river and we are just observers on the shore.
Landon chose our way back when he ran away up this pedestrian part of the bridge we crossed earlier. It was nice to be off the car road, but instead of a smooth ramp, there were hundreds of tiny steps up. Landon had no problem with them- it was me with the stroller trying to bump it up each step. I was glad when we got to the top!
The little boy pictured lives next to our laundress in the rooms behind a small convenience/shoe store. He spotted Landon’s truck one day while Landon was wandering on the sidewalk, and Landon was not really willing to share on this day without a trade. The little boy came back with a few of his toys, and they played together nicely on the sidewalk for 20 minutes or so. We now have a candidate to gift all of Landon’s toys to that we can’t fit in the suitcase when we depart!