周末旅行 weekend traveling

Sorry for new post! I have been super super super busy lately and just haven’t had quality computer time to write blog posts.

This weekend my classmates and I headed out to 千岛湖 (Thousand Island Lake) on a CET sponsored group excursion. We left at 9am on Friday morning and took a 3 hour bus from Hangzhou. The bus was sort of cramped and ill suited for sleeping but that was ok because what I saw from the windows was my first taste of the more rural side of China. I’m accustomed to China being towering buildings, hectic traffic, and lots of noise. So, it was nice to get out and see sprawling greenery, and jagged mountains for a change. This weekend was a great time to leave the sounds of the city behind and enjoy some peace and quiet for a change.

After the bus ride, we had to take a boat across a portion of the lake in order to make it to the island we were actually staying on.

So while this boat may look like some homespun contraption plucked right out of a dire Gilligan’s Island type scenario, it was actually pretty speedy, reliable, and could hold  around 15 people. The trip to the island took around 5 minutes.  After arriving on the island we lunch and then got to check out our hotel rooms.

I thought our rooms were particularly sweet (especially because CET was footing the bill). The beds were leagues and bounds better than my dorm bed and I honestly didn’t want to wake up on Saturday morning because I was THAT comfortable. We even had our own bathrooms and a tv. I dont have a tv in my room in Hangzhou so it was certainly a new experience falling asleep to old Tom and Jerry cartoon (in Mandarin). Until you hear some voices of children, small birds, etc., on Chinese tv, you have no accurate conception of how high and annoying the human voice can really be.

Friday night we had a giant barbecue which could easily be described as one of the most delicious experiences of my life. We had lots of chicken, beef, pork, eggplant, potatoes, onions, corn, and other stuff. We first dipped the stuff in oil, then covered the food with some spice (there  were 4 or 5 different kinds with varying degrees of spiciness) and then proceeded to cook the food ourselves over a little grill. It was really, really fantastic and WAY better than the standard hot dogs and hamburgers of  American grilling. I feel like I’m going to come back home with lots of interesting ways to make (and eat) food; so prepare yourself family and friends alike 🙂 .

They next day we had an opportunity to swim and play around in the lake itself. This is the view from the swimming area:

The water was really warm but still refreshing when compared to how hot and humid it was outside. We even got to play around on the hotel owned water bikes and little rafts which was really fun too. Playing around and behaving like idiots in the water was probably some of the most fun that I have had since coming to China. Of course, I didn’t wear the sunscreen that I brought to the lake. I received a pretty awesome sunburn and was made fun of because of fair complexion well into this week (even the other white kids who didn’t burn were making fun of me :().

Basically, this weekend of travelling was a well-deserved break from the hectic studying of the typical school week. This upcoming weekend I am again traveling with friends (actually just bought my bus ticket!!!) but actually heading to the ocean instead of the lake. I can only hope it will be half as fun as this experience was.


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