Saturday, June 9, 2012
Today we had an early start, being picked up by Grace in her automobile! A new way to travel in China, by private car! Tuk also accompanied us, as we took a slightly longer, but definitely faster route to the water town of Xitang, 90 km/54 miles from Shanghai. Tolls totaled 40 RMB/$6.27. We flew on the toll road with very little traffic.
The history of Xitang dates back to at least 770 BC and is known today for maintaining more of the simple lifestyle of the Ming and Qing Dynasties of the last century. However, it is obvious that many of the ancient buildings are newly built, especially in the "scenic area" which can be translated as the "tourist area."
We parked in the immense tourist parking lot, being guided Disneyland-style as to where to park.
Kent, Grace and Tuk on one of the bridges leading into the scenic area:
Here is a water stage for performances:
Our first stop was the Huguo Grain Official's Temple:
Hmm, I should count the stops for which our ticket provided entrance.
Second stop, the Drunk Garden:
We caught a quick glimpse of a boatload of cormorants:
View from the Huanxiu Bridge:
Xi Jie/West Street:
Kent peeks out of the second-story windows:
Tamiko braces the walls:
The shops open up by removing the shutters and standing them along the wall:
Some of the hand-operated machinery to make shell buttons:
Sometimes it looks like they are selling Mexican fabrics:
Now we are standing on Anjin Bridge:
A small interior garden:
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall...
Ninety-eight bottle of beer on the wall..
Tenth stop, Yellow Rice Wine Exhibition Hall in a former rice wine shop. There was a mural and several etchings that seemed to describe the wine-making business, and we saw some new rice wine containers, but much of this museum resembled a mini-Shanghai Museum. A room of brassware, a room of ceramics, a room of carved stone including black jade, a room of paintings and calligraphy, etc.:
We are now crossing the Wolong/Crouching Dragon Bridge at the far end of town:
Grace in a corridor:
A canal scene:
Some beauties on the bench:
Many thanks to Tuk for arranging this trip and to Grace for providing the transportation.