Prisoners! Prisoners in our hostel no thanks to Mother Nature and her lack of humour she decided to make it so hot (yet again over 40degrees) that we had to wait until evening to explore. In our very short space of time before sun down we did manage to get around West Lake and it was worth the wait.
Who knew one town could hold so much beauty. As you should be able to see from the pictures Hangzhou in the day was just as impressive at night. After a good 4 hours wandering the banks of the lake we headed back to the hostel for an early night as we had to be up at 5am to get a taxi to the train station and head to our next destination, stupidly we stayed up playing monopoly on Oliver’s iPod and before we knew it, it was 2am. The morning was too early for any human being to be awake and to make matters worse the taxi driver was late and we were cutting it fine as it was getting him to come at a later time. This morning was important as we absolutely needed to catch this train to Shanghai as that is where we are catching our longer train (and more expensive) to Qingdao.
When the taxi driver turned up 10 minutes late he seemed so shocked to see that his fares were westerners that he proceeded to take the scenic route around Hangzhou asking us if we knew what each place was called. With time whittling away rapidly and the taxi man driving at unnaturally slow speeds for a Chinese person we eventually made it with about 3 minutes to spare. Luckily there were no delays on this train and we arrived at Shanghai Hongqiao safe and sound just in time for our longer train journey. After a very pleasant trip we were in Qingdao and for the first time we didn’t need to ask for directions or get an overpriced taxi or figure out the incredibly confusing bus timetables and actually walked from the station to the hostel.
We were greeted by a strange man in monk’s robes and he showed us up to where the reception was. After we checked in we decided to have a little look around town and headed to the sea front. It was raining it was dark and it was cloudy and yet the beach was still crammed with tourists, I would hate to see it when it was sunny. After an evening stroll along the promenade we left to the safety of the hostel only to find our street now filled with a huge night market selling stuff from live scorpions to urchins to starfish, maybe tomorrow we shall try some delicacies. Finally time for bed after a very long day and over 1000km travelled.