Of snow sculptures and such.
So, at long last--although not that long, since it's only been like 4 days and I think that's pretty fast--here are some pictures from the Harbin Snow Festival, conveniently located right across the street from the Ice Festival. (Neither of which were located anywhere near the tiger park, for the record.)
Overall, I think the snow festival was much cooler--and also much warmer, which sounds impossible but actually isn't--than the Ice Festival. And if you don't believe me, I've got the pictures to prove it. Lots of them. And not just the ones below--I've put a ton of pictures up on Shutterfly, too. (A ton in this case consisting of exactly 41 pictures, although one seems to want to display twice for some reason, so there are actually 42 images, in case you care and I am pretty sure that none of you do.)
Anyway, without further ado (for once), here are the pictures.
Harbin Snow Festival
This was just inside the front gate: it's a guy--presumably a "fierce warrior" type--shooting a bow and arrow at a dragon. Or at least trying to--I never actually found an arrow anywhere in this sculpture.
This was one of the more impressive sculptures, and one of the biggest.
A close up of the dragon's mouth from the above sculpture. Not sure what the babies are doing riding the dragon, though. Maybe he's one of those nice dragons, like Puff the Magic Dragon or something. Or maybe the dragon's saving them for a snack later--who knows?
Charging snow horses, sans babies. Which is just as well, since they'd probably fall off.
Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is just around the corner--it starts February 8, I think--and this next year is the Year of the Rooster. Hence this sculpture, which would otherwise be a little odd. As you can see, it is also on the grande side. (The woman in the picture was one of the people who came to Harbin with us.)
One of the entries in the snow sculpture contest. This one is actually the USA's entry. It's very fitting, since there's nothing we are known for in the US more than encouraging peace. I mean, it's just what we do. Seriously, ask anyone.
(Side note: For the purposes of this question, anyone does not include persons living in the Middle East. Or Africa. Or large parts of Europe, either. Oh, and also not Oceania or South America. But it may include parts of Russia and anyone in a state where they want to put warnings about evolution being just a theory on the fronts of textbooks.)
Then again, is it really encouraging peace? Maybe it's just me--although I know it's not, since someone else pointed this out to me--but doesn't it look like the hand is trying to give everyone the finger? Take that, peace!
Another entry in the sculpture contest. Right after this is the part where Legolas climbs up the Olyphant's trunk and kills it single-handedly. (What do you mean you don't know what I'm talking about?)
This was the winning sculpture, although now that I write this I have no idea what country it was from. Oops. Either way, it was pretty amazingly detailed. I have no idea what it's supposed to be, though. Advice to stay out of the rain? An advertisement for the Traveler's group? Some crazy sculptor's drug-induced vision? Maybe one of these, maybe all. Who knows?
The French contest entry. Mostly, I am confused about the pig-like dog animal nestled in her hair on the right side. What the hell is that thing doing there?
One of the various Russian entries. It was called "Free Cheese," which--as we all know--is the best kind of cheese.
Amazingly enough, Goldilocks was nowhere to be found in this sculpture. (There's three bears, get it?)(If not, wipe the drool off your lip and continue.)
Another Russian entry. "Hey, I know! Let's make a sculpture of some evil-looking stampeding horses!" Happy people, obviously.
I know what you're thinking: is that column Corinthian, Ionic, or Doric? No, I don't know either. (Okay, I do--Corinthian.)(Common knowledge, really.)(What? You have no idea what I'm talking about? How awkward.)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the sculpture garden ...