From my last post you might remember that I wasn’t too fond of the city tour. You know being stucked in a small bus with an insane tour group, a tour guide with the voice of a howling monkey and last but not least my mother-in-law are not the best combination for an enjoyable holiday. But it all can get even worse…
The second day started early in the morning. We had to get up at 5am to get breakfast at 5:30. Too bad though that the hotel usually doesn’t provide breakfast till 7am so they only had a few things ready such as some cakes from the previous day and mantou, tons of mantou. Reason for this early time was that we had to go still to two other cities on that day. In our original plan we would have gone to Yangzhou already during the previous evening, making this second day much more relaxing but you know who cares about a tour group plan anyways as this one was changed all the time. At breakfast we realized that it wouldn’t be such a warm day so we put on some warmer clothes as the temperatures had dropped from 26 degrees celsius down to 18 degrees and the tour guide advised to take umbrellas with us. This all was not a problem, yet.
The bus trip from Nanjing to Yangzhou was nothing special, just the usual trash flying around, the howling monkey tour guide screaming into the microphone for 1 1/2 hours and the terrific driving skills of the bus driver making sure that no one was able to sleep. In Yangzhou we went straight for the Slender West Lake which is a wonderful place despite the ocean of tourists marching around. It all started pretty well there as I could take some great pictures of the flowers and area but then it all went south when the clouds decided to create first some drizzle and then a downpour. Now the umbrellas we packed extra for this trip became very handy except…except that MIL had put them all into the suitcase which was in the bus as she thought that we wouldn’t need them (because why would she listen to a lowly tour guide).
Somehow we manage to not flow away with the water during our 3h stay at the Slender West Lake and were allowed to enter the bus again. By now our clothes were soaking wet and it was cold, very cold while as all other people in the tour group were fine as they had the umbrellas as advised by the tour guide. From the Slender West Lake we drove to Suzhou, a very lovely 4h bus trip. During this bus trip the rain got less again and once we arrived in Suzhou at the Tiger Hill we were ready to go to Yunyan Pagoda which is also known as the “Leaning Tower of China”. But as soon as we had left the bus and walked 100m the next downpour started and we just went back to the bus. Sure we had this time umbrellas but we had just no energy to do this with such bad weather. Only half the tour group went to the Pagoda and they all didn’t look too happy once they were back with wet shoes.
Next on our list was the Taihu Wetland Park in Suzhou. It was planned that we stay there for a few hours going around the area but due to the bad weather we only took a 20 min boat trip around the channels. By now we were just so exhausted and cold that I did not even bother taking pictures anymore. We only wanted to get to our hotel and rest. Thankfully our howling monkey tour guide showed some mercy and we went from the Wetland Park straight to the hotel which was surprisingly even very good. Right next to the hotel we found a shopping mall where we could eat some dinner after surviving hell during lunch time at one of those infamous tour group restaurants.
Did you had bad weather ruining an entire trip?
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