Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tai Lake

Phil and I just returned from a long weekend with our friends Carolyn and Brian at Tai Hu (Tai Lake). Although rather polluted, the massive lake and associated islands near Suzhou were a welcome step back into nature. The village on the main island on the lake (the true Island, as opposed to the others linked by bridges) was quite rustic and undeveloped. It was filled with fruit trees, and the only mode of transport was motorbike (with a 4-passenger trailer contraption attached like a golf cart) or bicycle. It was such a pleasant change not to be surrounded by cars!

Phil on the speed boat to the Island

A woman working on the shore of the lake

We are still not quite sure what or where the Dimly Discernible Peak was...

Picking (and eating) strawberries at a road side farm

"A strawberry picking we'll go, strawberry picking we'll go..."

The view from one of the mountains on the Island

Another sunset...

Phil in fine photographic form

We loved exploring the mazes of old buildings and courtyards

This notice on the public message board officially proclaims that the mentioned couple has been granted government permission to have a second child... a rare event under China's One Child Policy.

Old buildings amidst the fruit trees

Carolyn and Brian riding one of the tandem bikes we hired to get around- much more fun than I even imagined!

Work going on as usual

Phil saturated by the over-exuberant waves.

Back on the mainland, a "theme park" with a pirated Minnie Mouse at the gate... with Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb" blasting out of the speaker above here head. What would Walt Disney say?

We're not quite sure why Santa was still there in May... but he looked exhausted.

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