This trip found Kelly flying over with me. On Sunday we walked around Yuyuan gardens and a few other places around town. We had three weeks of meetings and she was here to help get the most important week kicked off.
I celebrated my birthday on this trip at a dive bar with the team for a few hours. The Americans stayed late but our Chinese colleagues returned to their families after a few hours. Good food, Tiger beer, friends and being in a foreign city made for a memorable birthday.
|Henri, Nicole, Catherine, Meggie, Joyce, Rachel, Jenny and Qiyu|
This trip put me in this huge nation over a Chinese national holiday called Tomb Sweeping Day. I took advantage of the three day weekend to take a high speed train to Hangzhou. This is just an hour ride from Shanghai train station. With speeds of 300 Kmh and few efficient 5 minutes stops the ride goes by fast. I moved my reservation to the West Lake sister hotel of the Kerry. Hangzhou has been a popular Chinese tourist destination for centuries. It is know for the miles of walking paths around its main lake as well as a National Park nearby. There are public water shows as well as a night time show that rivals a D1sney production.
I left the hotel at 6:30 AM to board my train which leaves at 8:17AM. The usual 70 minute subway ride took nearly 90 minutes. The crowds in the station were unexplainable, as I searched for the passport window to exchange my online ticket code for a real ticket. Needless to say I missed my train. After another 60 minute queue to change my ticket for the next available train which was in 5 hours. I finally arrived in Hangzhou to find more people and no cabs. My plan was to walk around the lake so in necessity I walked to the hotel. It was a bout a 3 mile hike with my backpack and my trusty 25 year old duffle bag. Did I mention the crowds?
|Little girl conducting the water spouts on West Lake in Hangzhou|
|Good day for wedding photos|
I also rented a mountain bike for two hours and strolled around the west side of the lake. I followed the other bicycles and it was an incredible ride. It was like being a single fish in a school of fish just flowing around obstacles without any stress or rage. The Chinese know how to move the masses without incidents. I have yet to see an accident on a city street.
Another great trip!