Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A weekend away in Zhejiang

One of my Chinese teachers, Vincent, invited me to go away for a weekend.  One of his friends' grandfather was having an 80th birthday celebration.   We were invited to attend, and see the local sights.  I didn't realize before the day we left, but there were 6 of us going.  Five of us by car, and one by bus.  We met at the Yellow Dragon Sports Arena, since it is easy to find, and I suppose probably close to where the driver lives.  There were, Vincent, Landish--a medical student from Mauritius studying in Hangzhou, Libby and Xi Lou-- two Chinese friends of Vincent, and myself.  Xi Lou was the driver of the car we were going in.  Also going by bus was Alena-- a Russian lady who is finishing up her business studies here in Hangzhou and also starting a business selling things online.

We drove about 2 hours south-west of Hangzhou to Shi Lian Town.  Vincent's friend Wu Fei (the one with the grandfather) has a small hotel near there.  We went first to the hotel, and had lunch with Wu Fei, Hong (Guo Hong Zi) another artist friend of Vincent and Wu Fei, and some of the relatives.

Here's a view from the 3rd floor balcony of the hotel, with Vincent on the left and Wu Fei on the right.

After lunch we went up the mountain to a Buddhist Temple in the area.  I didn't catch the name.  I got the entrance ticket, but seem to have lost it.  If I find it, I'll update the post with the name.

NanJianYan&More-21The grounds were beautiful, and there was a nice pool you could swim in (we forgot our swim suits though).  There was a fish pond, and a number of waterfalls.  Here you see Vincent and Alena.

And feeding the fish:

After a fair walk up--probably 45 minutes or more of walking at a moderate pace, we came to the temple area and could see the buddha on the hill.

NanJianYan&More-121 Ah Yes, here is most of the group 'crossing the stream' below the temple on our way back down.

NanJianYan&More-180 The second day, we made an early trip up the mountains to see the fog filled valleys at sunrise.  It was truly a majestic sight, even if we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to catch a ride up the hill.   Photos cannot do it justice. After seeing the sights, we went down the mountainside on foot for a walk about half way to fog level, passed some interesting rock formations, and waterfalls, and climbed back up to the top to catch a bus back down the mountain for the birthday lunch.  Here you see the sun is just hitting the fog.

The place is called Nian Jian Yan, near Shi Lian Town.

We returned back to the hotel, and enjoyed a nice (very big) lunch with the grandfather.  There were probably 50 people there for the celebration.

NanJianYan&More-336After lunch, we went to visit Wu Fei's new business venture, a studio/teaching space/dormitories for artists.  On the way back we stopped for some of the group to play a bit of pool, and I spotted these youngsters playing on another table.

Then we had to return home, another two hour drive, with heavy rains.  It was a bit scary, but we made it safely.  All in all, a great trip.

As always more photos on my Flickr.

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