Suzhou

Yesterday I didn’t have any classes, so I went to Suzhou with Kacey.  Suzhou is a town located rather close to Shanghai so a daytrip is definitely very doable.  We got a really early start as we left from Shanghai by train already at 8 AM, arriving in Suzhou arround 8.30. Our first stop was The Yan’s Garden, the former residence of Yan Jiagan of Taiwan.  The area included  quite a few beautifull old houses,  lovely ponds with gold fish, beautifull plants divided into 4 gardens – one for every season.

We walked arround for a while enjoying the scenery and taking photos. It was all really beautiful and peaceful and I was having a great time. On our way out we took a few photos as well, attracting the attention of a pretty large group of Chinese tourists. When a lady asked if she could take a picture with me I decided to be polite and say yes, this made the rest of the group go insane. Everyone wanted a picture together with me, pushing eachother forward, making me pose with their kids and everything.  It was crazy, people talking about me as if I was either a celebrity or an animal from the zoo – noone thought I could understand any mandarin. When it seemed as if this group had all gotten their pictures and things were calming down a bit, another group appeared and of course these people wanted their picture taken with me as well. Im pretty sure I stood there, posing, for arround 20 minutes! I guess not all Chinese are used to foreigners. I don’t mind taking pictures with a few people if they ask nicely, but this was a bit much!!  (if you can’t read the speechbubbles you should click the image – its like my own cartoon!)

After my photoshoot or whatever I should call it, Kacey and I headed to the Tianping Hill Scenic Area. It is a whole park built arround this hill overlooking the city. If we had a spot like that back in Norway, we would say “great, people can go for a hike there if they want, but thats it”,  maybe just made a simple path up there. In China it is a different story though, the park surrounding this hill was huge and they had little rides, a lake with boats in it, refreshment stands (even on the top of the hill) and stairs all the way to the top of the hill – even if they were quit poorly built. We walked arround in the park for a little while before we started on the hike up to the top of the hill. It was actually quite a walk, took us arround an hour to make it to the top. Tons and tons of people were taking the same hike, so we were never alone. The wiew was pretty amazing, especially at the top of the hill. We could see both Suzhou and the surrounding green hills, really nice. I wish I had been wearing better shoes though, my feet really hurt at the end  – the stairs were really steep and at some places you had to climb a bit as well! Got tons of nice pictures though and the wiew really was nice so the hike was well worth it 🙂

When we got down from the actual hill Kacey and I ran into a swing carousel. Kacey really wanted to go on it, so I joined  as well.  I’ve taken this kind of ride a million times before, but this one was a bit quicker than they normally are, so it was fun – fun to see Kacey’s reaction as well, she really had fun with it. Our last stop was central Suzhou where we had dinner and just randomly walked arround a bit before taking the train back to Shanghai. It was a long, but nice and eventful day 🙂

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