Friday, September 9, 2011

Ancient Street

Almost two weeks ago our family visited "Ancient Street" here in Suzhou.  Jamie and I had visited it during our house-finding trip and we were really excited to take the girls with us this time.  What surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed it again.  I thought I might cross it off my list of things to do and then move on, but I really enjoyed it and could see myself going back again and again.

This time we took a boat ride along the canals and got to see a part of Suzhou that was new to us.  Suzhou has been called the Venice of the East with all of its waterways and canals.  And, just like Venice, the water is used for laundry, cleaning, transportation, garbage removal, and probably few other things too.

To me, Ancient Street is my Chinese Galena (as in Galena, Illinois).  It has history, character, shopping, and dining, but with the flair that is China.  In talking with my language teacher, she insisted that I go back at night and see the lights and lanterns.

Looking down one of the side streets.

We purchased one of these bracelets made
of fresh fragrant flowers for each
one of the girls. 

Standing on one of the old stone bridges.

At the base of one of the bridges.

At the start of the boat ride.  We could choose hand powered
or motor powered...we went with the motorized option.

Hand powered!

Look at the detail work, amazing!

A recently updated home.  Nicely painted and the far right
door was made of copper.

Laundry day and you can see her mop off to the left.

Everyone hangs their laundry out of their apartments to dry.

Using the pole to hang clothes up.

Love this home with the wood shutters and sitting right on the water.

More women doing laundry and using a paddle for their wash.

Boat dock along the canal.

Notice the handmade brooms leaning against the side of the house?
You can spot those all over China.

I love this photo.  Who says you need a dirt and a
yard to plant a garden? 

Enjoying some ice cream after the boat ride.
A new umbrella.  This one is made of fabric,
so it will be great for keeping the sun off EBean's face.

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