China Tour: Day 6, Hangzhou
The day started badly with a panicked phone call asking where we were. We rushed down to the lobby to find everyone on the coach. A flustered Jenny and Lianna got on. Apparently we’d confused leaving time with check out time! (It normally takes us half an hour to between the two.)
2 ½ hours to Hangzhou and we piled into our next hotel. I think the public ashtrays in the corridors to our rooms should have been warning enough that it wouldn’t be the most fragrant of rooms but at least the beds were the comfiest so far, so we were happy!
Another free afternoon and we chose to escape the busy city and go to natural beauty spot Xi Hu (West Lake). We didn’t have oodles of time so couldn’t walk around it, which suited me fine. We took the lazy option and had a go at bartering for a boat ride and didn’t do too badly. As you can see from the pictures the weather was “atmospheric” so we missed the best views, but it was so peaceful and lovely to get away from constant car horns.
The evening concert was at Hangzhou Theater. I wasn’t sure how well attended a New Year’s classical concert but we weren’t disappointed! No blackouts or freezing temperatures – and a happy orchestra. La ci la darem and the Chinese encore were especially popular and spirits were high with New Year festivity. Afterwards, the theatre manager treated the whole orchestra to a New Year’s feast. We enjoyed an amazing selection of food and wine and were made to feel very welcome in Hangzhou. We were very humbled by their generosity and it was such a lovely way to spend New Year’s Eve at a time when all were thinking of home. Great renditions of Happy Birthday throughout the evening for percussionist Joe and Auld Lang Syne at midnight – something the Chinese of course hadn’t experienced! I was also very proud to finally master using my chopsticks.
POST TITLE: China Tour: Day 6, Hangzhou
AUTHOR: Jenny Maslin
POSTED: 1st January 2012
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