Nicholas Quirke was finding the heat somewhat oppressive and even though rain clouds were gathering over the city he felt uncomfortable and sticky. They made an early start to avoid large queues for the cable car ride over the Yangtze and he was glad that he had bought the fan he purchased in Suzhou with him to keep cool. Wei demonstrated the art of opening a fan, which Nicholas tried to emulate but, to the amusement of an onlooking family, failed miserably. The wait was not long and with about 25 other, rather pushy people they boarded the tram like cable carriage. The views of the river and the city were spectacular. On the other side of the river they stopped for a drink next to a tree which had red ribbons tied round it, a superstition denoting the presence of ghosts. They were in an area called Hao Yue Ting which had a number of grandiose Graffiti scenes themed with the river fishing and the huge fish painting that covered the plaza and steps was an attraction that a group of women could not resist and they photographed each other for so long that in the end he gave up and the moved on to see Ciqikou, an ancient town, which can be traced back one thousand years and flourished due to porcelain production during the Ming Dynasty. Its narrow streets on the steep hillside reminded him of St Ives, though the shops were mostly food and snack places. there were pearls on sale and he watched the opening of the Oyster clams to the polishing of the stones, establishments making chilli sauces and they were also treated to a tea ceremony. It was a taste of old China and even the rain could not dampen his enthusiasm for the ancient winding alleys and steps and a particularly ornate and slightly run down temple. They enjoyed a late lunch of noodles and then took the subway to Lizbia a distinctive, extraordinary subway station by the river. Its unique feature was that it ran through an apartment block with the trains entering and departing from the 6th floor. The street had a viewing platform with wonderful viewers of the river and the crowd that had come to see this eccentricity of town planning was in itself of a novel description, with people lying pointlessly on the pavement to get a good photo. A surreal experience seeing the trains enter the building, and not one he would like to live in. Thery completed the day with a visit to a health spa, which was a relaxing way to end the day and ensured a long satisfying sleep


  1. Never heard of a train going through a building before! Definitely wouldn’t enjoy living in that building! xx

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