Monday, September 15, 2008
Trip to CHINA
A few years ago my Husband and I spent 10 days in Shanghai, China - what an interesting
experience! We had spent some time in Hong Kong so we were reasonably prepared for Shanghai. We stayed in a beautiful Chinese Hotel 'The Bundt' which was right down town.
The room was great - the bathroom had gold fixtures, marble floors. The room had such comfortable beds and all in all it was a great experience. We had arrived in Shanghai without any hotel reservations as we were flying standby- The only hotel we could get when we arrived at l am was a chinese hotel. It had a beautiful gold dragon (huge) going up the stairs from the lobby to the merchants section.
We were fortunate to take a tour (we thought when we booked it that it would be on a tour bus) but ended up taking a private tour with a driver and guide (nice surprise) - The tour man in the hotel didn't speak english so we pointed and paid - it cost us 90.00 for both of us.
We went to SuZhou - a world heritage Chinese city- There are ancient gardens throughout
the city - All the buildings are white with black tiled roofs. There is a silk factory there and we spent 3 hours there and had a 'chinese' lunch. The silk factory tour showed us how silk was
make from the mulberry leaves with the caterpillars eating, the cocoons and how the
silk was removed from the cocoons. Then is was woven on very old (I have no idea how old- but very old) machines . Then how the silk was manually 'pulled' to about a meter square. We then visited their store. The silks were so soft - we had picked up some silk in Hong Kong and when I bought it I thought it was wonderful - it was nothing in comparison to the Silk at the silk factory. I bought some and have used the white for landscapes - I bought a couple of absolutely gorgeous pieces and still have them.
Our driver took us to about 7 historical gardens and former homes. I loved reading about ancient China, and there I was.
What a contrast between the high rise buildings (l500 of them) in Shanghai with the beautiful pyrotechnics (if you saw the olympic opening and closing ceremonies - you will understand what I mean) The highway to SuZhou was an 8 lane beautiful highway, with coolies sweeping the center boulevard with brooms. Such a