Day 3 – Thursday 13th June – Hangzhou to Shanghai
FYI Hangzhou means sailing boat. Hangzhou has about 13 million people, just a village really.
Breakfast at 6.30, a quick walk along the river through a beautiful park, manicured lawns, mondo grass of different lengths, like we heard yesterday man made but made to look natural. We hear some music playing and investigation finds a man playing a saxophone by himself, no busking, not hit up for money, just playing for pleasure.
We slowly amble back to the hotel and we’re off into the traffic heading for North Lake.
The things that surprise me about China so far;
- there are so many trees and it’s much greener than I thought
- The roads are so good and the signs mostly have an English version on them
- There are not as many people on the streets as I thought there would be
- The people are so friendly, and many want to have their photo taken with you, apparently a lot of Chinese have seen very few round eyes and it’s a badge of honour for them to show their friends that they have an “ English/Australian friend”
- Chinese history is long and complex with provinces, dynasties, invaders, war, wealth, poverty…..
Some facts I heard from John – our guide;
- The Quiantang River runs to Hangzhou Bay – about 50 kms away
- It’s a tidal river that about 2 days after a full moon, every month, the river will get 10-12 meter tides.
- It was settled about 500bc, and 800 years ago had a population of 1 million people
- This was renowned as a trading city
- Hangzhou hosted the 2016 G 20 meeting
- In 2022 they will be hosting the 2022 Asian Games
The North Lake area is a paradise, fantastic gardens or forest that looks well organised, the lake is beautiful and looks clean. We hear that nobody can use a boat with and engine ( only electric boats), no toilets onto the river, no swimming in the river. We take a boat out on to the lake, it’s calm, flat, a slight drizzle of rain, thee is a contradiction, we can see a modern big city skyline with ancient temples around the hills.
A Very pleasant and relaxing hour on the lake.
NXT stop we head into the hills, and beautiful green sub tropical jungle, through tunnels into the Plum Valley where the famous Dragons Well green tea is grown and made. The rows of tea, terraced into the mountain side is spectacular. Mei is our educator/ salesperson, she is very knowledgeable about tea, and we succumb to her magic spell and after drinking 2 cups of green Dragons Well tea we are convinced green tea can cure anything, and in the right hands could bring about world peace. On that basis I buy a little tin of Dragons Well green tea. The Navigator goes deeper and her and The Mechanic share some tea “ supplements” , even after both struggled to get through the tea they were given. The score – 30 Love to Dragons Well Green Tea for selling this to The Navigator.
It’s a few hours drive back to Shanghai, a metropolis of sky scrappers ( or as John says – skyscrapes), the rain gets heavier and doesn’t stop .
Shanghai is busy busy busy, roads wind there way like spaghetti through the sky scrappers. The Holiday Inn Zhabei is not bad, good room and we check in for a rest before heading to an acrobatics show downtown at 6.30 pm. I’m exhausted thinking about the schedule.
The show is spectacular and we get back to the hotel at about 9.30pm, just in time to go shopping and we both buy prescription glasses for about 20% of the cost in Australia, $347 gets me reading glasses and Genelle multi focal glasses with transition lenses, they’ll be ready by tomorrow lunchtime!
I’m knackered, time for bed.
Arrividerci from Shanghai
Sent from my iPad