Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekend in Hangzhou (杭州)

We just returned from an amazing trip to Hangzhou, and we had such a great time that it felt like a mini-vacation more than a weekend. It is not very far from Shanghai so on Friday afternoon we took a local train and... there we went !

Our friend Jerry picked us up at the station and took us to the hotel so, as soon as we arrived, I drunk my bottle and... off to bed !

On Saturday it was a very cold day but I had with me the wool hat and scarf that auntie Susy gave me us a present in La Coruña so we just walked around the West Lake. Sooooo big !

There were a lot of tourists but most of them were Chinese. Again, I was kind of a tourist attraction because at one point I was surrounded by young girls who said I was very cute while they took pictures. Have to say I kind of enjoyed that :-)

We had a great day... and even took one of the boats at the lake that took us to a very special place... the "Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon", a landscape that is printed on the backs of the one yuan bills. So cool !

Our boat "driver" was a very nice and friendly guy because he didn't stop talking during the whole trip. I think mom enjoyed it because she could practice her Chinese.... however, I am not sure she understood everything he said because she just smiled a lot !

On Sunday, our friend Jerry picked us up at the hotel and took us for a very nice tour. He was born in Hangzhou and has lived there his whole life so he knows the place very well. First we went to the Lingyin temple and gardens. I really liked the gardens very much and, very strange... there were very high stones with many figures of the same guy. I ask Jerry who the guy was and he said "Buddha". I had never heard of him before but I think that he is very lucky because people really seemed to like him!

After the temple we went to a nearby village with tea plantations. The place was very pretty and we had some tea with a local family while I had my papilla. In any case,... one thing is clear... papa doesn't like green tea ! :-)

And then we went to a great place: the house of Hu Xueyan. Looks like he used to be a very important man who had a lot of money and also many wives (12 !). With so many people in the house he clearly needed a big house :-) The garden was also pretty nice but what I liked the most was a bird who could talk like a person and didn't stop saying "Hello" "Bye Bye" "Good morning". That was so much fun !

We spent some more time in the center of the village and then Jerry took as too the station so that we could catch the train back to Shanghai where, of course, I had a wonderful nap !

This was really a nice trip and I already look forward to coming back again. As well, Jerry told us that he has a 4 year all daughter so maybe next time I can meet her and we can be friends. Sounds like a plan !

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