Today started with a hike up the huge hill behind campus - when I say hike however, I mean going up 700+ stairs!
After a little break from the millions of stairs, a group of us went down to a shopping area of town on the opposite wide of West Lake (campus is on the northwest side). After waling around for a few hours, we saw this pagoda and decided we wanted to go check out -- so more stairs!
It was gorgeous up there! Pictures cannot even begin to show how amazing it was, but i took them anyways of course!
me and Elise
After walking back down, we headed closer to the lake to see it when it's nice out, not cloudy and foggy like yesterday. The park we walked in was wonderful.
It was pretty epic, just like this picture of Will
We finally made our way back to campus, slowly bus surely, finally getting a taxi. I was exhausted when I got back, after hiking 8-9:30 and then 11-7! My legs were about to fall off.
Classes start tomorrow, so I might now be posting as much as I have been because I will actually have to do work and not just exploring! I doubt anyone would want pictures or descriptions of my homework.
Today we explored Hangzhou a little bit. We split into three groups and explored the city for 3-4 hours. My group went to the downtown-ish area near West lake. The lake as a path all the way around (though I'm not sure how far around it is, but it's big!)
Part way down we decided to rent some bikes - it was a blast, though a little crazy! There are so many people, bikes, cars, etc. everywhere! It was the best bike ride I've EVER been on. With the adrenaline of being in a new place and flying down the paths, you just had to be there to really understand.
So a few people have asked me what my dorm is like - it's pretty tiny. It is about as wide as I am tall.
Here is where I'm sitting right now - at my desk. To the right is a closet and shelving where i have all of my stuff:
Behind me is the door and bed, nothing to exciting!
I also have my own little bathroom. Like some of the shower I encountered in France, there is no tube - just a drain on the floor. The ones in France were always slanted towards the drain, but this one doesn't so my whole bathroom gets extremely wet when i take a shower. At least I have a western style toilette and not a squatter!
On the second day we were in Shanghai we went to Yu Garden. It was extremely beautiful. I wont say much about it, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
After Yu Gardent, we had some time to walk around the shops near there. We then headed to the river that divides Shanghai. What amused me is on one side of the river, it looks very space-age, while the other is romanesque!
We finally began our way to Hangzhou after lunch. The campus is really nice, though I haven't really been here long enough to know my way around. Me and a few other students found our way to the "Trustmart" which is just like Walmart (and I dont feel as bad buying there since everything is made here too, haha).
Food thus far as been interesting. As far as I know I've been able to remain vegan (though its impossible to know for sure). Things are a lot greasier and saltier than I expected. So far I've been having a lot of rice, cabbage and broccoli.
I flew into Shanghai late last night - not the best flight in the world. Two hour delay, plus i got food poisoning from Delta Airlines (though they were nice enough to have a special vegan meal for me, who knows how long it was sitting around) before even arriving in China! Let's just say that the last ten hours of my flight were anything but pleasant. For the first time ever, those barf bags weren't funny.
I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning, wide awake - feeling fine thankfully. Elise (also from Madison on this study abroad adventure with me) and I got to go walk around the park that's across the street from our hotel here in Shanghai.
Here is our view during the day/night:
There were TONS of people dancing and doing tai chi in the park - it was amusing. We are also by a big soccer stadium, where I believe a game is taking place while I type this. I keep hearing cheering.
After our walk and breakfast, we joined the rest of our group and went to the World Expo. The actual exhibitions were actually rather disappointing, however the buildings themselves were BEAUTIFUL. Here are some of the pavilions I thought were cool.
I'm pretty exhausted from all the walking (the Expo area is HUGE) and from waking up so early. After another morning in Shanghai, we are heading off to Hangzhou (2-3 hour bus ride) where I will be living for the majority of this trip. I may not have internet for a while, because I will have to get it set up in the dorm.