Monday, April 16th 2018
“A township on water in Suzhou” – is the title on the package cover of ten postcards that were presented to us to purchase while we were ‘boating’ on the canals of this ancient city. The city proper and it’s outskirts are crisscrossed by numerous rivers (canals) spanned by many arched bridges, and often being referred to as “The Venice of the East”.
Suzhou is a renowned and cultural city of tourist attraction with a history of 2,500 years. We traveled by motor coach to this attraction two hours from Shanghai, over mostly crowded superhighways and clogged city streets.
Our guide for the day, Young, was a very accomplished young(?) man, who was taught English from grade school to college.
It was fun watching this group of ‘age challenged’ folks trying to keep up with his energy. However, throughout the day we only had to ‘hold’ for only one individual, who had been in ‘the Lou’ when the group returned to the bus.
Since our canal boat was covered, it was almost impossible to get good pictures, here are a couple.
Our second stop of the day was a visit to the Su Embroidery Studio, which houses a treasure trove of silk embroidered ‘paintings’ produced by crafts folks using silk threads smaller than a human hair! Some of these works take years to produce by these skilled and patient artisans …. and for sale for thousands of dollars …. no pictures were permitted. But can be seen at http://www.suembroidery.com
After a traditional Chinese dinner/lunch our skilled driver maneuvered our coach through narrow streets while trying to avoid the hoard of two wheeled traffic, whose operators seemed to care little for life and limb.
Our final stop in the ancient city was the “Gardens of Suzhou” specifically “The Humble Administrator’s Garden” which was built by a humbled politician and the story is so complex you can read all about it at https://www.traveltosuzhou.com/things-to-do/humble-administrators-garden
The gardens are an attraction for young Chinese visitors to use the beauty of the setting to have their photos taken by friends.
Here are a couple those ‘human flowers’.
As our group cooled our heals with ‘free time’ I captured this grandmother patiently resting.
During our wait, a young mother asked if she could take our picture as we held her two young boys. We naturally said yes and before we knew it, several other ‘photographers’ were capturing the moment as well. We felt very honored.
Tomorrow will be another day as we experienced life in this magnificent city.
Jack W Cummings – Far East Adventures 2018
Jack and Barbara Cummings
Retired US Navy, Retired Network Technician
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