First Weekend Completed
Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
11Trip End Aug 21, 2006
Saturday was no exception. The program people took us on a long hike, to a beautiful, mountainous location about two hours by bus. The group consisted of about 20 of us foreigners with our 20 or so Chinese roommates and our teachers. We made for an interesting group. We hiked, it was a pretty strenuous hike up a pretty steep hill, but it was covered in bamboo (never seen a bamboo forest before...it was very Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragonesque.) Then down the other side of the mountain was a river with sparkling clean water
Today, Sunday, I had to complete the third of our bus exercises. The bus exercises are this clever idea that the program people came up with to get us to get to know Hangzhou. They give us destinations throughout the city and require us to find our way there and back by bus...alone. It is an excellent way to see the city and to learn how to use public transportation. I only got lost the first time. But this time, after I had seen what I was required to see, I stumbled across another attraction. The house of Hu Xue Yan, a very rich man who is accredited with owning the most luxurious residence during the Qing Dynasty. Well, old Hu is long dead, but his house isn't. You can tour it, and I dare say, it is a very luxurious house and it doesn't get more Chinese than that. Dragons everywhere, gardens, ponds with big, colorful carp, caves, winding passages through dozens of rooms decorated with jade, marble, and ivory. Again...pictures coming. Wait for them.
Then after my little tour, I was invited to play basketball with some of the Chinese roommates. I was the only girl to (ever) play with them, but I dare say I held my own, scored a few points, and may have even earned myself a standing spot as their point guard from now on. We'll see. The level of play is not too high, but it is really fun.
That's all for now. School starts at 8am tomorrow, and I still have homework to do.