We are in Hangzhou for the weekend! The weather has been unbearably hot and humid and with the holiday it has also been super crowded. Throw in a 2&4 year old and you've got yourself a recipe for a disaster. We took one of high speed trains China is known for and after waiting about 30 minutes for a taxi at the train station we finally got checked in at our hotel by noon. Since we couldn't find a taxi when leaving the hotel we made the ultimately poor decision to walk. After a very long, and very hot walk we finally made it to the Lingyin Temple which is known for its carvings and grottoes.
We all collapsed back in our room and cooled off for a bit before we decided to venture back out. We walked about 10 minutes down the street to the Walmart and picked up diapers and a few snacks for the kids. We grabbed dinner at McDonald's, my first since moving here, before finally calling it a night.
Today we got a taxi from the hotel and went to the Leifeng Pagoda which is right by West Lake. The pagoda is five stories tall and was originally built in 975AD before being rebuilt in 2002 after being destroyed in the 12th century. Luckily for us when they rebuilt if they put in an elevator, which could definitely account for part of its popularity. They also had an escalator to take you up the 138 stairs leading to the pagoda. There were beautiful views from the top of the lake and surrounding city and mountains. Once we got back down we stopped for a drink and snack. It had rained during the night and although it was not as hot as yesterday it was much more humid. The kids munched on ears of corn and got a bubble gun. I got a medallion with a dragon (to represent this year) on one side and the pagoda on the other. They also etched our name and today's date on it. We walked a bit around the lake and looked into taking a boat but decided to pass since we had a lot of trouble communicating with the "captains".