Wintertime fun in Hangzhou
How many times did I go to Hangzhou last year? Two? Three? Four? I’m not really sure. But it seemed every chance I had I was back there, trying once and for all to put to bed my earlier impression of the city as being “nothing but a lake and tourists”.
I’d ended up there the year before too, entirely by accident, jumping off the bus on a whim on the way to Shanghai. It was one of those occasions when fate intervenes and before you know it you’ve gathered your bags, pulled on your shoes, and you’re standing in an empty car park without really knowing why.
It may not have quite been the 38°C in the shade that it was back then, but walking round West Lake in the briskness of winter was no less delightful. It was in January of last year that these pictures were taken, which makes this very much a pining to be back there. Back to waking up every morning to see if the snow is still falling. Back to circling the lake or exploring the hills surrounding it by day. Then back to spend the evening chilling out in cafe cosiness at my beloved Mingtown Hostel.
It’s not unheard of for Hangzhou to see snow. But we were reliably informed by the cafe guy that it had been a good few years since he’d seen snow like we were watching out of the window that night. It had started on the evening I’d arrived and still hadn’t stopped these two days later, lying heavy on the surrounding streets and the grounds around the lake, turning the place into a winter wonderland postcard cliché that I felt lucky to have been there to enjoy – the right place at the right time, just as I had been the summer before.
This, then, is a slightly misty-eyed look back at four days that could have carried on forever for all I cared. There are the snowmen and scenics, the proud poses and postcard good looks – a reminder, more than anything, that I need to get myself back there just as soon as I can.
Even if Hangzhou were nothing more than a lake and tourists, I’d take its banks and bridges over another steaming city any time of year. But the city is much more than that. To read more about Hangzhou, click category: Hangzhou for a full list of posts. Now where did I put my diary?