I had an appointment Saturday morning in a factory in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and we took advantage of the opportunity, Cai Li and myself to spend the weekend.
I must say that, beyond the fact that Hangzhou is at the heart of the industrial area south-east of China, the city is nevertheless an important cultural and tourist center, particularly because of a massive lake, Xi Hu, or “West Lake”, whose banks are filled with historic buildings, medieval, and traditional.
In China, we have a proverb that says “in heaven there is paradise, on earth there are Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Cai Li obviously stamped with the idea to go and have a look, as Hangzhou is famous in China.
When Cai Li and I opened the curtains to half past seven, which was not our surprise to see that négeait abundantly in Suzhou. And white coating on roofs and pavements showed that began during the night. Cai Li told me that it had been years since he had not snowed much in the province.
We have two hours to reach Hangzhou by bus … Where négeait at least as much. Surprisingly, as there was no wind, we did not feel the cold. But I must confess, when I refused for three years to this purchase, I am acquiring the full range Damart, pants and shirt, and shifted so thick it looks like a uniform Star Trek, or underwear western. Although this is not very graceful, believe me, when it freezes to split stone, it is very comfortable. Cai Li, in his thick jacket which falls to the ankles, we believe the ready to board a rocket Soiyouz.
On arrival in the tumult of the crowded station east of Hangzhou, the assistant plant manager was waiting for us. I asked him to make a hotel reservation for me and Cai Li, and we went to pick up the keys of the room before visiting the factory. Then, the boss invited us to lunch and then we started to do a little sightseeing.
Very gentimment, the boss of the factory dropped us on the banks of West Lake, at the other end of the city, lake I could not imagine greater. Beforehand, as I have a smart girlfriend, she did not fail to ask the same pattern, a local, what were the most interesting places to visit and which ones to avoid.
In the car, gentimment and commercially, DG plant did not fail to move from French music, and I had to fader CD “Helen, I’m Helen” all the way. It’s crazy, but this is the only known French song here and listen grants for Chinese, the “cool attitude”. It’s quite simple, this song, I have to hear ten times a week, in stores or restaurants.
From there, we damn market. The Chinese kids, and Cai Li is no exception to the rule. It even has a childish side, not to mention child beyond me sometimes. I do not know how many snowballs she sent me and she stopped in front of each snowman with the frustration of not having doing itself. Finally, she decided, and it took, since it started with diligence and concentration, building their own snowman that I shot photos and video along with its creation. In any case, she has lived this snowy day with the same excitement as a child. And it was fun to see.
The West Lake, which has preserved its natural and forestry, remains no less a series of pagodas eternal ancestral homes, elegant bridges in donkey serene temples and on the banks. In addition, all facilities have been set up for visitors, with roads and in perfect condition, as well as directional signage at strategic points. And what is very nice is that, being preserved away from the city center, the lake is surrounded by mountains that give the landscape a side traditional Chinese painting the most beautiful effect.
Cai Li did not fail to tell me about the legend of the creation of the West Lake, known as the most beautiful lake in China. It is said that in ancient times, a dragon and a phoenix picked up on an island, a white jade. The stone dragon rubbed his legs and the phoenix picota with its beak. Eventually, the stone turned into a shiny pearl. Having heard the news, the Queen of the Heavenly Kingdom down to earth and snatched the pearl dragon and phoenix. These continued until the Heavenly Palace to retrieve the pearl. Embraced the dragon and the phoenix Queen attacked their beaks. Queen and dropped the pearl that fell from heaven to earth, becoming the West Lake, an extremely beautiful.
What was the most enjoyable, this Saturday, it was the snow. Snow changes everything in the atmosphere, and this is even more true in China. Why? Because the snow muffled, and when you live in a country as noisy, find some quiet in a landscape so serene is a very foolish. As the climate landscapes conferred on the idea that we can get a Chinese decor.
To eighteen hours, while most visitable buildings closed their doors, we returned to our hotel, where, although punctured after a quick dinner, we fell asleep without a problem.
The next morning, Li Cai had lots of ideas in mind: she wanted to visit Leifengta an iconic pagoda Xihu, and the “broken bridge” (in Chinese Duanqiao) because these high places are those which took place on made a legend well known in China, called the legend of the White Snake. Cai Li told me as she could, and I managed to complete it, to deliver it to you, thanks to the internet.
The Legend of White Snake is the tragic love story between a man, Xu Xian, and a snake, White Snake, who took human form in the guise of a beautiful young woman. The Day Qingming, Xu Xian, a clerk in a pharmacy, walks along the West Lake in Hangzhou. Caught in a shower, he is ready to go home by boat when a young widow dressed in white and wearing blue next ask him to board. This is the thunderbolt. A lowering of the boat, Xu Xian lends his umbrella both young women and has an excuse for review.
Some time later the White Snake and Xu Xian marry.
The Day of the Dragons boats, Xu Xian meets Fahai, a Taoist monk who tells him that his wife is a snake and gives him a drug to make him drink, to discover its true nature. After drinking, White Snake turns into a snake. Seeing as Xu Xian dies of fright. White Snake decides to fly to the islands of the Three Immortals and steal magical herbs that will save Xu Xian. The island must fight the guards. Moved by the young woman, the Star of Longevity intervenes and gives the grass Xu Xian bring to life.
Fahai does not admit defeat Xu Xian and removes it holds prisoner in the temple of Mont d’Or. White Snake implore Fahai release Xu Xian. As he refused, with the help of Blue Serpent, Dragon Kings of the four seas and their army aquatic White Snake is climbing the temple. In the blink of an eye, a huge mass of water up to the door of the temple. Fahai gives a dam that holds the water. White Snake, weakened as pregnant, can not resist, abandon the fight and returned to the waters of West Lake.
Xu Xian managed to escape Jinshan Temple and went to Hangzhou. In memory of his first encounter with the White Snake, he went to the edge of West Lake, near the Broken Bridge. Suddenly he saw his wife, but Blue Snake threatens to kill him because she accuses him of betraying the White Snake. The latter intervenes. Finally, all three find themselves. Time passes and the Feast of glutinous rice balls, White Snake gives birth to a baby.