I decided to visit the Hangzhou Botanical Gardens in the morning. I dressed and around 9 am went to the front desk of the hotel. A man who speaks a little English was there, and I asked him to get me a taxi to the Botanical Gardens, which he did. The taxi came quickly, and the hotel staff member told the taxi driver where I needed to go and off we went. We went down into a tunnel under the lake and came out not far from familiar territory.
|Entrance to Hangzhou Botanical Gardens|
|The Camera Club friends.|
We passed a lot of buildings, including the Shangri La hotel where I had lunch last year, and arrived at the entrance to the huge Botanical Gardens. At the gate was a notice board with a map of the gardens, so I worked out where the Bamboo Garden was and set off.
Several people stopped me and asked if I needed help, and I was polite and friendly and said I was ok. A group of people, perhaps from the local Camera Club (all had big SLR cameras) and they spoke no English, but we had a few laughs. They took photos of me with them, and we hugged and laughed. I get the impression that folk are more friendly to foreigners than in some of my early visits.
I kept walking, hoping I was going in the right direction and soon came upon the huge bamboo garden. It is some 14 acres – with a wide waterway and waterfalls, bamboo of different sizes and varieties. There were many people in the gardens – including quite a few doing their morning exercises, or walking their dogs. Most ignored me. I explored several paths through the gardens - taking many photos and imagining such a garden in Beachmere!!
Then I went across to another garden and had to pay 30 RMB to get in. Odd that some of it is free and other parts one pays. This was the rhododendron garden, but of course wrong time of the year for most of them to be flowering, though some were in flower.
There was a beautiful lake with great colours of autumn trees, and families taking photos. There was a duck like bird, which dived and came up quite a distance away. I have not idea what it was. More photos.
|Some of the bigger fish - there were other red and smaller fish.|
Then I saw a sign to a Tea House. Since I had had little breakfast I figured I would get something to eat. No one spoke English, and I managed to get some green tea. When I asked for food menu, they couldn’t help me, and as I saw no one else was eating, guessed that perhaps they only did tea. Later I saw people with food menu’s there so once again guessed it was a language issue.
It was here that I saw the jumping fish pond – though none of the huge fish jumped for me. There were quite a few varieties, and I understand they jump in spring. Wrong season for me.
Slowly I made my way back to the entrance – amused by all the brides having their photos taken. There must have been 6 or 7 in the area that I passed.
I know how to identify a vacant taxi - it will have green lights on top, so stood on the side of the road waiting for fone to come with my hotel card in my hand. It took only seconds, and I had my taxi, and was soon on my way back to Bokai Westlake Hotel. I was to meet with Dr Lee, who had phoned the night before.
I headed back to the hotel and soon I had a call from Dr Lee who was running late, so I headed down the street to a cafe. It was a lovely place and I had no trouble ordering food and coffee. I did enjoy reading the sign near where I sat. It was a cafe to read - with books and newspapers everywhere.
Dr Lee visited later. He came with a lovely gift for me - a silk scarf. So generous of them to bring gifts.