|Anhui Province (Part 1)|
Once I made it back to Wuxi I barely had enough time before I was off with a friend from DC, Cindy. While I had made most of the arrangements for the trip to Anhui province, traveling with Cindy was a joy. Her language ability opened all kinds of doors and provided one of the smoothest traveling experiences within in China I have had. It is amazing what three years of living in China can do for your language skills!
We visited three old villages with buildings from the mid-nineteenth century. They were filled with narrow alleyways and beautiful architecture from the rich elite of China at the time. Only a few years ago foreigners were not allowed to stay in these towns overnight. While I am unsure what has changed sense then, we were allowed to stay in one of the old houses, which had the hardest bed I have slept on in China.
*This might be a good to bit of information if you are visiting China and some other Asian countries. Unless you stay in an upscale, western owned hotel chain you will be sleeping on a hard bed. I find that most of them are comfortable and I sleep very well. However, occasionally you run into the ultra-thin mattress that feels like a thin sheet was put on top of a piece of plywood. Usually that is a little bit of an exaggeration, but at the hotel mentioned above this was not the case. It really was a sheet put on top of a piece of wood. At least it was better than the stone pillows we saw in some of the houses throughout the village.
After touring our third village, we were about to drop from the heat. We jumped in the car and headed out to Huangshan Mountain. The adventure will continue in the next post...