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From Earthwatch to West Lake

semi-overcast 22 °C

Earthwatch and Amcor at Gutianshan

Earthwatch and Amcor at Gutianshan

T & J

T & J

After breakfast there are fond farewells to those who are staying on at the CRCC to continue their work, and the rest of us hop onto the bus. From here it is six hours on the bus to the airport, and an hour into Hangzhou by taxi for some of us. At the airport we bid a fond farewell to LH who is straight on the plane back to Singapore. We regroup at West lake, were some of the group are staying a few nights at a great looking hostel, down a street behind 103 NanShan Rd(opposite the Porsche dealer) that gets to the edge of West lake.
From here we have a very pleasant promenade along the lake shore, heading north through the gardens, over bridges and through pavilions. It is hard to say if there is an afternoon mist on the water, or if it smog from the factories in the area, but I am having no problem breathing. It is easy to see why this has been regarded as an area of natural beauty for over a thousand years. It must be famous, it’s on the one yuan note.On the far shore there are wooded hills with tall pagodas rising over the trees. On the lake there are traditional small boats plying their trade, larger modern tour boats and lots of McDonald’s wrappers.At West Lake

At West Lake

The area is very picturesque and could use a lot more time than I have available. We head south along NanShan Rd, turning east onto HeFang St (Turn at Orioles Singing in the Willows (East Gate) or the Aston Martin showroom and you will be right). HeFang St is not much to look at early on, but after a while you reach the Wushang Square (not great in itself) where there is a view up the hill to the City God Pavilion. Here also start the stalls lining the street before you go through a large gate into the tourist shops area. There is loads of stuff here to pick up for souvenirs at any price point you can imagine. We all wander up the street until the reminder goes out that we have not had any lunch today. So Justin locates us a restaurant and we stuff our faces again. Then it was back to the shops to spend a few more red ones (100yuans) but pretty restrained overall. Then it is time for me to leave the group, so there are some very fond farewells, and I head off to the train station.The shopping street

The shopping street

Following Emily’s directions, I get to the train station and get a ticket. The ticket hall for Hangzhou station is way outside the station, and is a mass of people trying to get through. I spy another whitey, so I go to where he is, in a very short queue, way out on the right hand end of the hall. This seems to be the foreigner’s line as we are dealt with quickly and by someone with great English (and French, for him). I head through the crowds and into the express train, in first class at 301km/h.
After a quick journey I am in Shanghai and I get lost searching for my hotel. Well, I am in the spot that I think I want to be, but the place I am trying to be is not the place I am supposed to be. I am trying to get to point 10 on the map, but the hotel is at point 16, so when I get directly to point 10, point 16 is not there. A bit of help from the locals see me work out the problem (me). I soon find my way to the Old House Inn, which is very hospitable, and I have asmall comfy single room just fine for me. Slight problem with the bed side light which turns off when I stand on just the right floorboard.Comfy single room at the Old House Inn

Comfy single room at the Old House Inn

Posted by lostagain 05:24 Archived in China

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