Shanghai Suzhou And Hangzhou With Typhoon Wipha

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Shanghai

On the afternoon we arrived more than a million and a half people in and around Shanghai fled in advance of Wipha,  expected to be one of the most powerful typhoons to hit the country in a decade.   The next morning as 180 mile an hour winds threatened, oblivious to the forecast, we set off in a steady downpour to walk to the Bund


 

We didn't get very far, taking refuge in a restaurant for an early lunch.  Giving up on the Bund we walked back along Nanjing Lu where the staff were bailing out the store fronts

 

We  stayed at the East Asia Hotel situated above a shopping arcade on Nanjing Lu.   We loved the busy location.  Night time is the best time on this street, the longest shopping district in the world, with neon to rival Las Vegas.   It is particularly pretty when rain slicked

 

Next morning it was still raining and the ladies took their tai chi to a sheltered area by 'Bread Talk' a great bakery for breakfast goodies
Suzhou

Thankfully Wipha moderated and was downgraded to a tropical storm before reaching the city but the unrelenting rain continued.  Hoping for better weather we went back and forth from Shanghai to Suzhou and then Shanghai to Hangzhou but the rain barely let up 



The magnificent CRH, Bullet whisked us to Suzhou in 30min which makes a day trip from the city a very attractive proposition.

On one of our train journeys Barbara got into conversation with a young man.  He asked where the rest of her group were, she pointed out Raine and myself and he blurted out,  "what there are no young people to look after you"   

I wonder how old he thought we were?

 
The weather in Suzhou was awful with the heavy rain looking set in for the day.   Feeling we had little choice in the circumstances we looked for a day long bus tour.  Miraculously amid all the Chinese touts looking for custom was someone who spoke English and she offered us a Chinese language bus tour with her along as our English speaking guide.  She did not stay long, passing us on to someone with  'little English'.  By lunch time she too had taken off and left us to the tender mercies of the Chinese language guide a.k.a. Megaphone Minnie.  Who had just enough English to drag us back as we tried to escape the group

 


上有天堂, 下有苏杭

“Above there is heaven; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou”

Attributed to Marco Polo who visited in 1276, he is thought to be the first person to compare the city and its canals to Venice


 

In spite of the weather the canals and garden areas were very busy with noisy tour groups.  How much busier could it be in more clement weather

Unfortunately I have no idea which gardens we visited

I took the image of the path for my eldest daughter who had just taken a workshop on how to create garden hardscape with stones and small rocks


 
Beisi Pagoda.

Zhang Ji Beside Maple Bridge

Feng Qiao Ye Bo 枫桥夜泊,  Night Berth at Maple Bridge

月落乌啼霜满天, Frost covers the world as the moon falls and crows ululate
江枫渔火对愁眠. Falling maple and weak fishing light worsen the non-sleeper’s fate
姑苏城外寒山寺, The midnight bell waft to this lonely boat,
夜半钟声到客船.F ar from Hanshan Temple beyond Suzhou Gate
Thank you to Seeraa International who hold the copyright to this translation of the poem.  www.seeraa.com
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