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West lake, a restored temple and a Zoroastrian

CHINA | Wednesday, 26 September 2012 | Views [271]

This morning the squirrel knocked at the window while eating the sunflower seeds left overnight. He liked the trick, and soon other squirrel came to join. Pity they were so ashamed to come closer, and both run away we heard any noise coming from the room. There is more sunflower seed resting there, so I guess they will have a good breakfast tomorrow morning again. Hope to see them before taking the train to Xiamen.

After a good breakfast at 11h (!) we were off to take the boat. The main objective was to visit the big temple we can see from the hostel. As usual and everywhere in China, almost nobody speaks English and if the sights are written only in Chinese, you have to search for your own way to get information. After few minutes trying to figure out how to tell them we wanted to go to the big temple, a Malaysian woman appeared. Speaking English AND Chinese Chae helped us to figure out more or less what to do.

The first stop was in the “ three moons lake”. Very nice island in the middle of the West Lake and a perfect spot for gorgeous photos. Lucky enough to not meet noisy tourist groups, we walked around taking some photos and trying to think that THAT could be a fantastic summer palace in the XXI century, if possible. Nicely arranged and restored, although new. Most of the place was destroyed after few battles and wars -that I cant recall and my friend Wiki can help you- the government found in the area a terrific opportunity to show their ability to create a good place and to maintain it. Beautiful and worthy.

After wondering for a while, Chae guided us to the big temple. As nothing is for free in China, we had to pay 40RMB to get there. The temple is impressive from distance and has five floors on top of a high hill, easily reached by escalators (thanks!). No doubt I got the escalator to climb up and once inside the disappointment was: just the ruins are in the basement. The temple as we see today is a new building, opened in 2000!

Of course it has its own merits and the view upstairs is breathtaking. Spend some time reading on the first floor (it also has a lift to help you climbing) to find more about the white snake legend. This legend is related to the ruins of the previous temple, were you can see the walls and the ruins in the basement.

Leaving this place we took a bus to the mall, to eat sushi and buy food for dinner. I bought edamame and did it in the hostel. Amazingly easy, cheap and tasteful. I'm definitely cooking it again, and many times once back home. While cutting the vegetables for the greek salad, a older woman went to the kitchen asking for a piece of paper to write about something. Turns out that she was a very pleasant company.

Mehej was born in India and has got British and Australian nationalities. With a beautiful English (maybe a mix of all accents) she spoke a little about herself, the family, her plans and religion. For the first time I met someone that declares herself Zoroastrian. I heard vaguely about this, and I confess that I don't know not even how to write.

While I'm typing this journal entry I have no access to internet. As soon as I get some free time I am definitely searching about this exotic religion (at least to me!) and will try to learn how to spell it...

She thought I was Indian. The she thought I was Australian. Turns out that Brazil blown her bets. ;)

Tags: china, hangzhou, zoroaster

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