Monday, February 4, 2008

Back to Snowy Hangzhou

We are back to a snowy Hangzhou, safe and sound!  We got up at 4:30am yesterday morning for our flight back to Shanghai, and then our 2 hour car ride to Hangzhou took 4 hours due to icy roads.  The roads got worse as we reached Hangzhou, We were surprised to see more than a foot of snow had fallen in the last week!  They say this is the worst snow storm in this area in more than 15 years, and expecting more tomorrow!

We came back to find all of the building scaffolding removed, but the roof over the bicycles collapsed.  Yes, our bicycles are under there somewhere; I guess we'll sort it out when the snow melts.

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Linda and Randy came back with us to Hangzhou, and our friend Rebecca came with us to guide us to the local tea museum.  Of course tea is a HUGE deal to the Chinese, with the more expensive varieties costing more than $200 US per pound!  The history of tea in China is more than 2000 years, and you can get a college degree in tea here!  No kidding!
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We tried some expensive  teas -  $200 per pound tea and the $25 per pound tea, and really I couldn't tell much of a difference.  They both tasted very good to me.  Guess which one we bought?
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The children LOVED the snow - outside the tea museum they played hard in the snow, building and dismantling a snowman, having a snowball fight, etc.
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Peter, nailing Jack in the back...
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Inside the Tea Museum, the boys played with an old tea grinding machine...
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... and back outside again throwing snow off of the bridge to a babbling brook.
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The babbling brook that took so many of our snowballs.
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Looking across from the tea museum, the sun is starting to cut through the fog to become a brilliant day.
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Peter and Jack each made "eggs" out of the snow that we tossed back and forth as we walked around Westlake.
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The day cleared up and it was very nice to look across the lake.
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The boys found a couple of sticks and spent a couple of hours at the lake choreographing a fight scene and bashing hunks of ice they found on the ground, while Grandpa had a nap.  We drew a crowd as the boys replayed their scene over and over.  A good day was had by all!
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Julia said...

Hi Lewis Family,

I am really enjoying reading your blog! What a wonderful adventure you are having. I am sharing your posts, especially the elephant camp, with my 12 year old daughter from Hunan. My daughter thinks Sophie looks just like her when she was 3 years old. Love all the beautiful photos.

Julia in Pennsylvania

Bob & Amy said...

Let it snow! Wow, that last photo is just stunning. Glad you made it back safely, that was quite a journey! Did you rent a big car for all of you in one or did you have to get 2 cars? Groundhog saw his shadow so we are set for more winter. I hope you are all well! Love,
The Mahers

Auntie Catherine said...

Snowing all over it seems. The condo got 6 feet in 7 days - with more coming tonight. We could have gotten a state patrol escort up there.. but seriously... does it sound like a good idea to travel through an avalanche zone just to go ski?! uh - not so much. They have plans now to redo I-90 because $700,000 of revenues were lost **per hour** with the closures.

Stay warm. Stay well.

Oskar S said...

I was googling for some Hangzhou scenery and accidentally stumbled into your blog. I must say your life in Hangzhou, and not to forget your pictures and way of writing is very interesting!

Im 21 years old and I plan to go to Hangzhou now in the middle of March to work and study at a local private school (through a teacher exchange program). It seems in your blog that i've chosen a beautiful and fascinating city to stay in for these three months, is that correct?

By the way, do you have any idea about which of the universities in Hangzhou that offers good and higher level mandarin chinese courses to foreigners?

feel free to email me, i would be most grateful.