Saturday, July 12, 2008

Road Trip! Part 1: Suzhou

Yan took us on a road trip...well a train visit the town where her parents live and to see Shanghai. If you don't know how to pronounce Shanghai properly, ask Professor Jim Smith. He'll help you learn how to say it correctly. Although Yan didn't grow up in Suzhou, her parents now live there and it is famous for its gardens.
Jim, Mary Lynn, their son Eric (shown here reading Hinamart what we decided must be like the sky mall catalog for Chinese trains), Yan and I took the overnight train to Shanghai.


I was a bit worried that the overnight train was going to be awful but Mary Lynn was right and it was very nice. They even gave us slippers to wear. Our train did get stuck for some reason for 2 hours and sat and watched about 10 trains pass us unfortunately. It did give us the chance to see more in the morning which was nice. We went over the Yangtze which was exciting. One thing we found odd was that my Chinese cell phone would send me text messages in Chinese welcoming me to every town. The phone knew where I was...

Yan's mother met us in Shanghai and was a wonderful host to us. It was really great to have the inside tour and we enjoyed her hospitality. I know she was very happy to have Yan visit too!

First we went to one of the beautiful gardens in Suzhou.

This we followed with an amazing lunch and then an interesting trip to a silk museum.

I couldn't believe how much construction was going on here. This area is rapidly expanding due to the oil industry. There is massive construction everywhere it was unbelievable. High rises and cranes everywhere!


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