Sunday, May 12, 2013

Beautiful sights!

As promised, here is another update. Today we went to an Indian food festival at the Cool Docks. It looks as if there is a weekend market there so we browsed through some of the stalls, ate a very good chocolate cupcake and some Indian food. The Indian food was just OK but I got cards from the restaurants so we know where to go in the future. We ended it with gelato as it is a hot day!

My hope was that we would run into some fellow Indians and we did. I connected with a very nice young couple from our part of India. She has promised to get me connected into the Indian associations here.

Back to last weekend. We went to the Yu Yuan Garden complex. The garden itself is a lovely landscaped Chinese garden with buildings from the 17th century. Outside it, there is a very touristy set of shops and restaurants. The architecture is what one would consider typically Chinese.

We got off the Metro and walked for a bit before we reached a street with bronze dragon light posts.
This is a very crowded area. Lots of cars and people.
The buildings all have that pagoda roof.

All of these are buildings with shops on the ground level and restaurants or more shops above. There are, however, a number of familiar sights.
As you go further into the complex, I spotted this lovely ceiling decoration.
At the very center of the complex, next to the garden wall, there is a lake with a tea house in the middle. It is reached by way of a crooked bridge. Apparently evil spirits cannot navigate crooked bridges.

The bridge was packed with people, most of whom were taking photos. So it took a while to navigate and take our own photos. But in the process, I saw these lovely carved steps.
And did a double take at the little tortoise at the bottom. You don't see it? Wait, I took a close-up.
By the time we got all the way to the other end of the bridge, he had climbed up onto the steps.  Another shot of the lake.
Once you cross the lake, you are at the entrance to the gardens themselves. Since there is a ticket to go into the garden, there is a slightly smaller crowd inside.
And now I am out of words. I am going to just present the beautiful landscaping in the garden and leave you to enjoy it. It really was a fabulous retreat right in the middle of a big city.
See that building under construction to the left of the pagoda roof? That is the tall skyscraper near my office that is being built - you've seen it before in my photos. I took this photo to highlight the juxtaposition of old and new in Shanghai.

There were also lovely mosaics on  the floor at the gateways;
Carp in the pool;
A sale of Tibetan arts;
Grass growing on rooftops;
and more lovely landscaping.
Everywhere there are places to sit and take in the vista. I could live in a place like this. You can feel your blood pressure drop as you walk around.

Unfortunately, we had to leave. We wound our way back to the exit and the crowds on the crooked bridge and backtracked to the Metro station and came home. The garden is definitely a place to visit again.

And now for some fibery news. I picked up my Kuchulu again and started spinning. I am spinning some Briar Rose Cormo on it.
It is a nice change from plying on the Swan, which is getting really boring. I can only do a little bit at a time.

Lastly, this is the current state of the Self Stripe Shawl.
The stripes are definitely subtle but I love the look.

Now, back to the fiber world...

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