Monday, June 2, 2014

2013 Kunshan Trip - Excursion to West Lake, Hangzhou (西湖游记) Part 5

Location: Hangzhou (杭州), Zhejiang Province (浙江省), China

Full experience of my visit to West Lake can be accessed through the list below.

West Lake in itself was charming, but with only the verdant as its colour palette would have been too monochromatic. Fortunately spring brought with it other hues to the scene - pink, the colour of cherry blossom.

Celebrating spring 赏春

My exploration into the nook and cranny of the recreational area of West Lake brought me into the encounter with a group of men. And it was an extraordinary group of gentlemen in preparation of a celebration. Fortunately for my camera, their poses were set in stone literally - that is they were all statues.

Some were workers in the progress of carrying huge jars of wine and others part of a procession as a band. I spotted one who looked like a supervisor or the employer from his huffy outlook. There would have been a story behind this procession, one which was lost on me. The celebratory mood was unmistakable, and as it coincided with the advent of spring, I just let my mind wander and imagined that they were celebrating the coming of a new year and a new season.

Breaking the seal 解封

Parading in joy 乐游

Jar carriers 抬酒

Found a spot among the lake side recreation area where several statues were arranged in a show of parade. There was visibly a story to be told here, one which I missed, but it was evident that the participants were in a celebratory mood. Since it coincided with spring, I just titled my photos as if they were celebrating the advent of spring.

Of course I myself was in a celebratory mood as well. It would have been hard not to be with all the pinkish hues of cherry blossom adorning parts of the West Lake. Strolling along the lakeside's footpath, there were visitors, locals and foreign alike, revelling in the scenery by snapping as many photos from as many angles they could muster to keep as an unforgettable memory in the form of digitized data.

The cherry blossoms were in different states of bloom, some showing just buds, others getting close to full bloom. Whichever state they were in, the colours they brought into the verdant backdrop complemented each other vividly, creating a dreamscape from which I wished not to return from.

A look back 回顾

Procession of cherry blossom 樱花行

Procession of cherry blossom 2 樱花再行

Hues of cherry blossom pink 樱花粉色

Smartphone memory 手机留念

Environment:       A picturesque lakeside
Suitable for:          For a stroll around the lake and to admire one of China's beautiful lake that had inspired ages of poets and painters
Visit worthiness:   9.5/10 (take your time, immerse yourself in the scenery)
Historical value:        5.0/5.0 
Architectural value:  4.0/5.0
Photographic value:  5.0/5.0
Landmark value:       5.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                 the lake itself and the general surrounding area is free, but certain sites and areas may require an entrance fee
Opening Hours:             essentially open at all hours
Best Moment to Visit:  Avoid weekends and Public Holidays, you would not want to experience the crowd and the traffic
Length of Visit:              6 - 8 hours or more

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