Pine finds the Grand Canal. Eventually

The plan today was to walk south along the eastern edge of the Great Lake and find The Chinese Arts Academy. A dry run for tomorrow.

The first thing to notice along the path are the beautifully carved slabs.

Soon we found the attractive street with the rather impressive Chinese Academy of Arts complex. This is the location of the Purple Bamboo studio where we'll be learning the art of Water Woodcut with Professor Wang Chao.

'The Chinese Academy of Arts'

'where next?..How about old china'

We decided to carrying on walking around the lake to the large Pagoda we'd seen. Then see if we could find 'Old China'.

The Sunset Glow at Leifeng Pagoda

However just round the corner we found The Hangzhou Lake Museum. As well as a great bas-relief map of the area, there was also a helpful lady in the desk who pointed out, in a brochure, the location of old China.

Let's just get to this Pagoda then we'll get a taxi.

However, just around the corner, this time, we literally walked into a Chinese Vegetarian restaurant; The Lakeside Veggie. Where we had the most amazing food, get used to the name it'll be popping up again later.

After a quick walk round the Pagoda grounds, which were hot and very busy, we jumped in a Taxi showed him the relevant name in the brochure and we're off.

Old streets with artisan crafts.

Although the streets were attractive and obviously old, there was only three of them and they looked a bit neglected. Like artists units in which the artists haven't quite made it work. Except one which was a private bar run by a very helpful lad who came out to chat. He eventually offered to walk us halfway to the, other, actual old streets about a mile away.

The other more organised Old China streets.

Finally found the half moon bridge we'd been looking for. We had thought this was a part of the river but it's actually over the canal. Which is huge and runs all the way to Beijing.

These old streets are lovely if a bit too pristine and renovated. Felt a bit like walking a film set. A Chinese film set though so still very cool. For someone who grew up addicted to watching 'The Water Margin' featuring the bandits of Liang Shang Po it was like coming home. (TV reference for the over 40's there)

Of to get a taxi home and get ready for our first day at big school.

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