Well it is day two in China. I have to say, I am impressed by how much the country has progressed. But the change continues at a pace that is just so fast.
I started out wandering up to the Russian part of the city.On the way there was percussion band playing. So I stopped to take some photos. (Which should be uploaded soon to flickr.com). See the photo link on the right side bar. As I was the only westerner there and I was enjoying the performance, after they asked me up. The woman on the drum played a piece, and then I repeated it. I was able to keep up for about 5 ever increasing difficulty pieces, before I could no longer repeat the rhythm on the fly. They seemed to be impressed and there were smiles all round.
The Russian part of the city is small. But very Russian, there were many traders with quality Russian goods. Wandering back by the intercity bus terminal, to check out the buses for tomorrow, I found the Tourist Information Centre. All I can say, is that they cannot get many tourists. They were very helpful. At first I used the computer as it had descriptions in English. They called over a nice woman who spoke English. She had to make some calls to find out the location of one of the museums listed on the computer. The other places, well one street I found myself on the map and they were able to help with the location of the main museum. Emboldened, I decided to head down to the coast on a local bus. At first I was looking for the 60 bus, but it turned out that I needed the 16 bus. The gallery is an excellent affair. It focuses, as the Chinese do, on technological and economic development but also had a fair amount on sport and some local clothing from the minorities.
I then wandered down to the shore front some 10 minutes walk. The architecture was very surprising, and it even had a full size Italianate castle, not dissimilar to some in Russia. Back in the centre of town, the Nanshan lu, a Japanese era street was a disappointing.