I found this woman outside the train station in Hangzhou. She was sitting by herself waiting on someone or something. Like most Chinese, she didn’t speak a word of English, and none of my international gesticulations seemed to trigger a response. Except, that is, for the one when I asked if I could take a photo. She nodded happily and sat serenely while I grabbed a shot. I walked on, and turned around to wave. She gave me a little nod.
There are a lot of the older generation in China that I am sure are completely amazed by what is happening of late there. I wished I could have asked her a few questions, but my Mandarin is woefully inept. My 8-year-old son is taking lessons… maybe I’ll have to take him with me next time to act as translator!
It was dark in Hangzhou, former home of the Song Dynasty in Southern China. The Songs ran the show until the Mongols invaded in the 1200′s. No one ever expects the Mongol invasion.
Now it is devoid of Mongols, but it is filled with cute Ewok-like creatures that live up in the hills and along the idyllic lake.
Ahhh… Chinese royalty. Of all the royalty in the world, I don’t think anyone lived quite as well as the Chinese. Maybe that’s open for debate? I suppose luxury is a state of mind, but they certainly had all the component parts.
Here in Hangzhou, the royals would summer, languishing about these gardens and lakes, staring out across these lily ponds.
In other news, I have a new article that is a short version of my HDR Tutorial up over at Abduzeedo, which is one of the world’s top design blogs. I keep that site in my RSS news reader and can usually find some good design inspiration there!
On the weekend while in Shanghai, I was in the mood for an adventure, so I went down to the train station to buy a ticket to Hangzhou. This was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 12th century and it was in the middle of the Yangtze river delta. The royalty established a number of temples around West Lake, the dozens of tiny freshwater lakes that were created for the emperor.
As I explored around, there were many beautiful things to be seen. Here is one of many more I have to bring you.