West Lake

Our plan today was to walk all the way around the lake. Ambitious but doable. But first we had to go and buy our train tickets for the next part of our trip the next day. We discovered that there was a train ticket sales office in town so we walked there and using photos of the places we wanted to go in Mandarin we managed to purchase our tickets easily. We are getting pretty good at this!

We then made our way to the lake and the throngs of people. We got about 2 kms around and decided that it was a stupid idea to walk around the lake. We were really struggling due to the heat and smog and also our legs and feet were killing us from the past week of our walking. We are both kicking ourselves that we didn’t keep our fitness up in Australia! The lake really was beautiful but it didn’t really change the whole way around so we decided to catch a nice air-conditioned bus to the Lingyin Buddhist Temple.

The temple was in a large park area and before we even got to the temple there was a hillside covered in Buddha carvings and statues. It was really spectacular. Very Indiana Jonesish. Opposite this was the temple and upon entry we were given 3 incense sticks. At the base of the temple there were pits and people were lighting their incense sticks. Raising them to their forehead 3 times in each direction and then depositing them into the pits. I don’t know much about Buddism but I believe it is making an offering before entering the temple. There were three temples ascending in a row up the mountain. All with some form of giant Buddha in the centre. Every temple we have been into feels pretty powerful somehow. I don’t really get that feeling in a church but seem to feel something close to spiritual in these temples. Maybe it’s just the incense making me crazy.

After the temple we caught the bus back to our hotel and rested our very sore feet. West lake has been lovely but it’s still hard to comprehend that what was described as a majestic and tranquil lake is situated beside a city of 6 million people, and thousands of people each and every day come to walk the pathways lining the water. S

Obviously in a country with over a billion people you are going to have a parking problem. Easily fixed. Just use the pavement. In certain streets cars are also allowed to park on the pavement. I also love the escalators up and down from the overpass in the background. 

Tim under one of the pagodas out on the lake.

A relatively quiet section of the walk. As you can see the tree lined pathways are really beautiful.

Trying to pick an interesting drink for morning tea.

As you can see th smog was pretty bad this morning.

They really know how to do gardens. All around the lake there are parks with immaculate waterways and gardens

The hill beside the temple with the Buddha carvings.

One up close.

Making my offering.

One of the Buddhas  inside the temples.

The temple from the outside.

The craziness of the city just moments from the lake.

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