The intrepid Aimee Groom (aka DFH) is on holiday in the UK and France, but in her absence we'll MEET THE GROOMS! Think of it a China Travel Reality TV holiday special (without the TV).So, without further ado, please Meet John and Lesley Groom, the backpackers with a bus pass. In December 2008, this intrepid pair of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Taiwan, Fujian, Guizhou and Jiangsu. >>>
(Click here for more MEET THE GROOMS!) Subject: Grooms on line
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 06:01:13 +0000
The sunrise was fantastic, well worth it despite the cold and early morning. Lesley walked eleven miles on this mountain up and down hundreds of steps! When you think the Koreans come here with all their mountaineering gear virtually roped together, that's no mean feat!
Then off to Hangzhou, where the youth hostel provided us with two fried eggs, tomatoes, saute potatoes, two rashers of wonderful bacon, toast, jam and coffee for two pounds per head. Sheer heaven! While I'm on about food, a few observations:
Firstly it is strange to see girls walking round department stores eating what looks like Pot Noodles. Secondly building sites seem to come to a halt at about 11.30 a.m. everyday when all the workers stand there eating a bowl of rice with chopsticks. Thirdly quite often when you eat out you go into the kitchen area to choose the food you want them to cook. In one particular restaurant we not only went into the kitchen but then went out to her roadside vegetable garden to pick the vegetables. Needless to say the food usually comes up better cooked than it looks raw.
Also a couple of things about waste and ecology. If you put a plastic bottle in a bin, someone takes it for recycling within minutes. As we drove along a motorway behind a lorry very badly loaded with sacks, several sacks fell off. They were obviously quite lightweight. We hooted and tried to indicate to the driver what had happened. He ignored us--we have reason to believe the UK is shipping container loads of waste to China where the Chinese are doing waste distribution all over the motorway.
Back to Hangzhou which is a beautiful town built around a huge picturesque lake where we have been before. However this time we went on another cable car to a temple and walked through the tea plantation. One other minor matter; the Chinese are great at moving trees. Why wait for a tree to grow when you can dig up a fully grown tree, haul it along a motorway, bind it with rope and replant it.
Anyway we got back safely to Shanghai and so endeth the first phase of our trip. The easy one with a car and two Chinese speaking kids. It was really strange to hear DFH jabbering away in Chinese and being understood. It made us quite proud of her. Now to phase 2--Taiwan. We don't know anywone who has been there let alone come back from there. DFH and FCUK have given us a small machine that translates and speaks so hopefully that will help. Will let you know how we get on!