As we had another long weekend, courtesy of Tomb Sweeping Festival,at our disposal we jumped on a plane and headed off to explore the Deep South- the mammoth city of Guangzhou and the more laid-back seaside town of Zhuhai. I had a kind of crazy feeling that Zhunai might be a possible future abode so we had also arranged to check out a university down there ( all this of course dependent on developments back in the Sheffer family,but we really would like to prolong our stay in China if circumstances allow)
Anyway back to the trip. We stayed 2 nights in Guangzhou riding the squeaky clean massive metro system, and visiting the quaint colonial island of Shamian plop in the town centre, and looking like a bit of Paris,or 19th century Georgian dropped into the river in the middle of the city. IT is as described by the guide books a quiet repose from the bustle of the city,especially sitting in the Starbucks surfing and chomping on a tuna sandwich We met some delightful students from Guangdong Foreign Language school who chatted with us for a bit,and another student from Foshan who was also a tourist,and saw a dozen weddings being photographed among the bougainvillea plants and palm trees
WE then walked our feet off ending up ant the huge Yuxia Park,home to the statue which is the symbol of Guangzhou,an imposing 5 faced ram.WE tried the Elephant and Castle Pub in the evening and finding it disappointingly deserted went to the neighbouring Hill Bar for a quick beer before bedtime.
Next day we took a fast train to Zhuhai-and I MEAN fast The train hit 196,km per hour,and although Danny willed it to go over the 200 it stubbornly refused to do so.
ZHuhai is reputed to be one of the cleanest and most livable cities in China, and I have to say it struck us as very affluent and well-to-do. It has long leafy boulevards and plants everywhere, and best of all a long promenade the length of the sea named Lovers Promenade,for walking and biking All along it there are fish restaurants one of which we visited and had delicious supper I photographed the charming interior.WE also located an Irish bar strangely named Mary’s Aul Sod,which is run by a Dublin man, and there we met some more expat English teachers. We spent a very pleasant evening chatting to one Harry from West London, who couldn’t afford Uni fees in the UK,so is now teaching English to high schoolers and enjoying life immensely. There were some other expats there but being exhausted we made an early night of it. Zhuhai doesn’t have a metro but is quite walkable and has buses if you can read Chinese. If not there are taxis which are reasonable. We did not do much the next day as it poured with rain but we did enjoy another walk along the sea and went to the downtown bar area complete with traditional Chinese red lanterns. Back in Guangzhou again we checked out the University Mega City which is indeed Mega, and the downtown area near the Opera House and Canton Tower,which is the largest tower in China.
After a horrid early morning flight, requiring a 5.30am wakeup call we are now happily back in Lin’an where the temperature is a beautiful 21C. It was lovely to meet some of our students on the bus back home, and others wandering around campus. We love to travel and we are going to Shanghai next weekend to say goodbye to Renee and Barry, who are returning to Hawaii.