Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This city is the location of the famed West Lake in China. No, not that west lake or the other one, but the original West Lake.

It is actually a nice place once you get out of the city proper and to the lake shore. Nice enough to stay a few days. I stayed two days, but could have stayed at least a third if it wasn't for my expiring visa. I had places to go, things to see, people to meet. Well, OK, actually no people to meet, but I did have places I wanted to go and things I wanted to see before they kicked me out of China.

The West Lake is surrounded by vegetation; not much, but enough to disguise the more urban nature of the city around it. Walking around the lake, though a bit far, is a nice experience and lets you get a quick peek at some of the tourist sights in the area. Then you can always go back to the ones you want to visit later.

I wanted to ride a bike around the area, but my hostel gave out its last bike just before I had a chance to put my name down. I could have rented one of the many bikes for offer around the lake, but they were all the same kind, and not the kind I was hoping for. The ones for offer were for tooling around the lake, single gear, small wheels, odd frame, and I was hoping for a bike that would let me go further afield. I didn't really trust those bikes to be reliable over the long haul. Oh well, at least I'll have something to do the next time I am in the area.

Hangzhou has a nice botanical park that is worth visiting for a while. Not so much for the different species of trees and plants (though they do have them), but just for having a nice walk in the woods. There is a whole section of plum trees that I assume must be very nice in spring during plum blossom time. There is also a small sequoia tree that was given to the Chinese premier by president Nixon. For those that don't know, the sequoia is an incredible tree that grows amazingly tall with an incredible girth. Some are big enough to drive a car through. The one in Hangzhou has quite a ways to go yet, especially considering they generally live for easily several hundred years.
I thought I would add a quick explanation of a couple of the photos, or you may wonder "What the heck did he take that picture for?"

I am more of a dog person, I think, but I like cats too. I took this picture just because of the cat's eye. It actually made me do a double-take.

The "decorative" fish in this pond are a lot bigger than they look in the photo. One of these fellas could easily swallow my fist and arm up past my elbow.

This rather sad looking creature I rescued from a pond, luckily not the one with the big fish. Apparently he had jumped down onto a ledge and couldn't get back up. When he tried to jump up to an adjacent ledge, he would fall into the pond, and paddle until he could claw his way onto the original rock. I just reached down and pulled him up to higher ground, somewhere where he could walk away safely. He looked so pathetic I had to take a picture.

I think all of the rest of the photos are pretty self explanatory. I hope you enjoy them.

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