All day, the walkways around Westlake are the domain of the young and beautiful, in their silly shoes, and with their groups of friends. And those selling things to them.
But at 6am, its the older folk. It’s so lovely. And fortunately I have a small boy who again ensured I was up in time to get and and enjoy it. There were a few people who enjoyed him too!
The older folk hang out with their friends, chatting and drinking warm tea out of lidded glass bottles. These ladies were all dancing with fans. They didn’t miss a beat when four early morning tour groups barged straight through their formation!
Everyone we met that morning thought I had hit jackpot with three boys.
Men and women stood with one leg upon the balustrades of the lotus pool, stretching their hamstrings, and clapping up and down each leg. This man was giving Tai Chi lessons.
Some walk a lap of the lake, with a pocket radio playing traditional Chinese music, they clap enthusiastically in time as they walk along. One guy decided to walk backwards around the lake. We thought this was funny but he took himself very seriously.
One group of ladies appeared to be doing line dancing, with their music blasting. Right next to them, other music was blasting, and a larger, older group did tai chi. They seemed to concentrate deeply, not letting the crowds, boats, beeping buses or onlookers phase their calm movements.
The cleaners were out already, and we saw our local man in uniform, the one who blows his whistle when we daily play soccer on the lawn. He probably works a 12 hour day, he was there at 7 this morning, and after 5 yesterday. I think I’d struggle to work so many hours doing such a futile job. He blows his whistle, people move off the grass. He walks on, they move back onto the grass. REPEAT ALL DAY.
A couple of days ago, we hired the free Hangzhou bikes and went for a ride. Unlike our last time, we managed it all by ourselves. It was incredibly crowded and incredibly fun.
Sections of the lake have fantastical names like …. Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, and Peak Flown From Afar.
Here it is at sunset.
It is a photographer’s delight, picturesque at every turn. Tintin took this nice shot with his little camera.
The Chinese adage has it that one should be born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou and die in Liuzhou. I’m not sure I want to do any of those! But certainly West lake in Hangzhou is the prettiest place we’ve been to in China.