Another bus today and it went on the same route as yesterday until Wulin Square. After a quick look around to the north in a residential area it was back toward the city. By now the crowds were building so I headed east away from the Westlake scenic area into the old CBD. There are many canals in Hangzhou, tree lined with walking paths each side. A very pleasant place with breeze and shade as the day warmed up.
The crowds were the spectacle. Mostly family groups through the day and couples into the night. Many old people who looked as though they did not get out much, often being half carried by their children.
Early in the day people seemed in a very happy, festive mood. By evening there were a few tired faces and stressed relationships appearing.
At night people were out having fun, big crowds of dancers in Wushan Square, Nanshan Rd very busy and Hefang St packed tighter than the overcrowded busses.
A bus today, 40 minutes to the end of the line at Hangzhou West Bus Station not far from Xixi Wetlands. It was raining and not much to see so back on the bus to Fengqi Rd where yesterdays expedition ended. West Jiankang Rd is a “China Characteristic Commercial Street” which is filled with all things silk. Traditional costumes, modern style, scarves etc. make colorful displays for 500m of small, historical shops. There are very few people around all day. The evening was spent around the Qing period Hefang Street and the street food market near the Drum Gate and it was virtually deserted. It seems the eve of China National Day is a time to stay at home.
On the subway to Wulin Square which is surrounded by museums and the Westlake Centre (pictured) which is nowhere near Westlake but sits in a bend of the Grand Canal. Wulin Square itself is hidden behind 6m high fences apparently undergoing extensive development. A very hot day cut short by a cool change bringing wind and rain from the west. The subway was convenient shelter and a fast trip home. It seems no matter what time of day, the trains and busses are standing room only.
Explored an area North of Westlake this afternoon led to discovery of this living art piece. Depicting images of cycling, walking, Tai Chi and natural environment it sits at a busy intersection in front of a convention centre with the China Expo Hangzhou Healthy Elderly in progress.
The city is sprouting thousands of China flags in preparation for October 1 China National Day. Hot, humid and very crowded anywhere near the Lake.
Saturday afternoon was spent in the company of some locals enjoying the “view” of the aroma of Sweet Osmanthus at Manjuelong Village. At this time of year the Sweet Osmanthus trees flower, providing a pleasant aroma when you are near. The trees are prevalent throughout Hangzhou, but at Manjuelong Village in the hills south of Westlake the area is forested with Sweet Osmanthus. The streets are lined with tea houses and it is popular to drink tea with some Sweet Osmanthus flowers in it and pass the afternoon bathing in the aroma, playing cards and chatting.
From a quiet morning to a very busy evening, the population of the city grew as the buildup to next wednesdays China National Day Holiday commenced. Tourists everywhere, traffic chaos with parking impossible, cars doing U turns anywhere and stopped in the middle of lanes to drop off/pick up passengers. So many pedestrians and bicycles it’s difficult to walk on a foot path. As the traffic increases, the number going the wrong way increases also.
The Qing style models pictured were outside a shop I passed. They look like relatives of mine.