Peter, Jack and I spent a wonderful morning with another teacher from school, her husband and son. They picked us up in their beautiful car and drove us to South Mountain, just south of West Lake. We had an hour long hike up the hill through the trees and fields of tea.
Our hosts: Hwang Yongmei and her husband, and their son Tian Hong
Jack wandered through a tea field, trying to determine which variety goes best with Skittles.
... and more tea fields as we made our way up South Mountain.
And from the top, a nice little lookout station with terrific views.
Peter and Jack bounded up the hill like mountain goats of course, no worse for wear! We shared some beef jerky that Grandma had sent from the states. Peter and Jack loved it but it wasn't too popular with our Chinese friends.
Tian Hong is also 11, but he was quite shy around the boys. It probably didn't help that the boys were talking about Runescape to each other so much, so it was hard to follow their conversations, even for me!
Some of the stone paved path that we took back down the mountain. Here you can forget the city of Hangzhou which is just next door! Not many people know about this hike apparently as there were very few people. Rare for China!
We were invited to see their apartment which they own, which is about 3 years old and very clean and modern.
Inside their sparkling apartment. The boys did not want to leave to go back to our apartment which, especially from the outside, is a disaster!
Some photos of the park-like setting in their development, which consists of 33 buildings, about 25 stories tall each. Half of them are empty - no internal walls or anything as people just hold them for investments and don't bother with renters. Yongmei said her apartment has doubled in value in the last 3 years!
... a beautiful indoor/outdoor swimming pool!
More scenes from a path that wanders around inside the complex.
Just across the road is the Qiantang River, the main river that passes through Hangzhou.
The boys enjoyed playing a little basketball and soccer on the sport court in their complex!
Their complex also has a restaurant where they fed us a delicious lunch (tons of food!) and then drove us back to our apartment. Such a wonderful day!
We got back at 2pm for the Sophie transfer; now it was my turn to take Sophie and Sue's turn to go out. She is now at the silk market with a friend. I hope we have some money left when she returns!