I always think a rainbow is a beautiful way to start the day – don’t you? This beauty was just outside our window when we woke up!
I must not have taken many pictures on day 3, because there wasn’t much worth sharing in the pictures. Day 4, on the other hand, was busy! We were able to see the city today, so I’ll share the highlights with you.
This is the main square in Chengdu, you’ll see a statue of Mao in the background (just outside the square). The fountains aren’t always on (they weren’t when I passed through another day), but they sure were on today! Kirk and I never remember to take pictures of ourselves when we travel, so this is a rare shot of us. 🙂
From the square, we walked down to the pedestrian-zone (I always think in German when I talk about pedestrian zones: fussgangerzone. I don’t know why!) for shopping. My version of shopping is never very long – but I did buy a jacket that actually fits me! I’m so much shorter than everyone in America, but I fit right in China. I probably should have done more shopping and stocked up.
One of the famous meals in Chengdu is the Hot Pot. We saw people eating this the night of the Opera and knew I needed to experience it. The outer pot in the picture has the spicy oil and the center is the mild oil. I can’t comment on the mild, because I am a spicy kind of girl! I enjoyed lots of veggies: napa cabbage, pumpkin (YUM!), a green squash, mushrooms, and probably others I’m forgetting. It was good, but there were a couple of things that weren’t my favorite. They have a spice called “numbing spice” – it looks like a peppercorn – that was tingly when you ate it. It was entertaining at first, but really masked the other flavors as the meal wore on. The oil is…well…oily! It was much oily-er than a fondue style and I got tired of the heavy flavor & feeling. It was definitely an experience – one you should try if you visit the Sichuan Provence, but not one I would eat often.
Next stop, an open air market. Think flea market, but in China. 🙂 Lots of stores selling knickknacks, jewelry (lots of Jade), paintings, and wood furniture. Kirk and I enjoyed window shopping and walked past this beautiful “Gate”. Most of the Chinese architecture we saw was obviously reconstructed or at least updated, but this looked more authentic.
We didn’t end up buying anything, but it was a good place to see Chinese handicrafts and such.
Tonight’s dinner included my new favorite dish in China – Mapo Doufu (Mapo Tofu). This was a spicy, soft tofu with amazing flavor, another typical Sichuan dish. I also added some empty-heart greens to my bowl, which added a nice veggie crunch. I’m going to attempt to recreate this recipe later this week and I’ll share the recipe with you. I think I ate half the bowl, which was intended for probably 4-5 people this night!
Phew – that was a busy day! Two traditional Sichuan meals in one day, I’d say that’s a successful travel day. 🙂
Question of the Day – What is your favorite meal you’ve enjoyed on vacation?