Today after dropping the kids off at school, we visited the Lingyin Temple and Yongfu Monastery. The weather has turned warm again and the rain stopped, so it was our chance to venture out! The Lingyin Temple was built in AD326 and according to the Lonely Planet, due to war and calamity, it has been destroyed and rebuilt at least 16 times.
There were beautiful stone carvings decorating the temple grounds such as this one.
Sue found this huge vine to hang on!
Gratuitous flower picture!
There was a beautiful little river flowing through the grounds...
The temple was guarded by twin pagodas such as the one on the right.
Beautiful little waterfalls everywhere - doing a little playing with the shutter speed here!
This little girl was posing for mother and father, and I couldn't resist snapping a shot of her too!
Another shot of the river that winds through the grounds.
There were beautiful decorations everywhere - it was truly overwhelming! I hope you're not overwhelmed by all of the pictures in this blog entry!
Next we went into the Yongfu Monastery which was really grand. This Buddha was probably 50 feet tall; hard to get the scale from this picture! Many people were bowing and praying.
On the back side of the temple were many ornate carvings...
Sue standing outside of the temple, and a peak into one of the temple rooms.
Candle holders ready for prayer candles...
Some of the ornate decoration at the temple.
Here's Sue waiting for me to finish taking pictures. She's being VERY patient.
Time for one of our few "together" shots!
Some outside shots of the temple...
As we were walking back, this little dragonfly landed on the rock next to me, saying "Take my picture!" How could I not??
This is the famous laughing Buddha picture that you see on many postcards around Hangzhou.
Here are the gals, hanging out together!
More very picturesque scenery and carvings!
These girls were posing for someone else so I had to snap a picture too!
We just scratched the surface of exploring this area before we had to go back and take care of paperwork, and Sue had her new friend Lee Jun Ming coming over at 3pm.
So, I went BACK to the security bureau and turned in my letter that I went and got in Shanghai yesterday. They said the official stamp that was put on the letter did not say "Shanghai" on it, even though it said "Consulate General of the United States of America" so they couldn't accept it!! They wanted me to go back to Shanghai and get a different stamp from the Consulate. They didn't care about the contents of the letter at all. Arrgh!
Luckily, our waiban, Nancy was with me so she argued with them for awhile and the boss came over and gave the letter the OK. So I had to turn all of our passports in to get the residence visa, which will come back on the 12th of September - so we have no passports for 7 days! Yikes!
Sue had a nice visit here with her new friend, Lee Jun Ming, and the boys played with their son, whose English name is "Tony".
Retraction: My friend Masa pointed out that his company does not "write software to train Chinese people how to program computers" as I said in yesterday's blog, but rather "has some on-site training programs to train Chinese engineers how to program computers for Japanese customers". Thank you Masa for the correction!
This morning we went to KFC for REAL coffee after we dropped the kids off. Yes, KFC is open for breakfast here and they have a much wider menu than they do in the U.S. Even though this happened first today, I just couldn't put a KFC picture first in this blog!
Here's a gardener in front of the KFC trimming the bushes. Can you tell which bike is ours? Me neither.
I found out today that Sue has to go to school on Saturday for student orientation. This is for the college of Foreign Languages only, so since I am working for the college of Graduate Studies, I don't have to go! Yippee!