Charlie's China Tour—On Our Way to Hangzhou from Changsha

2018-12-28China travel Guide

Awoke at 5:30 AM. An early breakfast before we begin our 6 hour drive to Changsha. I'm optimistic about today's weather as I have brought my sunglasses out. It's 6:40 AM and no rain but overcast. Melody joined us for breakfast. There is some street activity. Melody will spend the night in Changsha with friends. The university that she graduated from is in Changsha. We're on the road. At 7 AM we see grade school age children on their way to school. It's very quiet in our van. People standing along side of the road awaiting a bus. It is now raining. A potty break at 9 AM. We're listening to some of Melody's music. Beautiful pop music. Lots of green on both sides of the road. Flat land.

We are now in Changsha and still 1 hour away from the train station in this city. The population of Changsha is 6.7 million. This population makes it a '2nd tier' city in China. The city was nearly destroyed by a fire in 1938. 93% of the city was destroyed. We are now crossing the Xiang River. Mao Tse Tung was born near here. We have arrived at the railway station. It is 11:15 AM. There is an underground parking garage below the train station that just won't quit. It is now noon and we are seated close to Gate 18 where our high speed train will depart at 1:20 PM. This train station is unlike any other that I have seen. How do you spell 'MASSIVE'? Here you can find pretty much anything that you would want to eat. We've said our 'goodbyes' to Melody. Once again, the 'goodbyes' don't come easy.

Saying Our Goodbyes to Melody in Zhangjiajie

Our high speed train departed at 13:35 (1:25 PM). Lots of empty seats on this train. Along the way we saw a large group of tall buildings that appeared to be empty. Jay purchased a large bag of popcorn. It 'hit the spot'. People getting on and off of the train as we continue. The coach is filling up. Once again, the train is very comfortable and quiet. It just purrs along at great speeds. Inside our coach, at times it is quiet and at other times it is noisy. Out in the country, we've passed many 3 story homes along side of green fields. It appears to me that much of this is subsistence living.... living pretty much off of what they produce. The very tall buildings are more in the more heavily populated areas.

Green Fields along the Railway

Green Fields and Villages along the Railway

Photo taken through the window of our high speed train from Changsha to Hangzhou

Photo taken through the window of our high speed train from Changsha to Hangzhou

It is 6:30 PM and we have finally arrived in Hangzhou. Today we have spent about 12 hours on the road, some by sedan and some by train. We were promptly met by Catherine, our local guide. Along with the driver we were driven to our hotel, the 'Enjoy Hotel'. At a very elegant restaurant in the hotel we were then treated to a very tasty pork dinner. I also enjoyed a tall bottle of beer. The bottled beer in China contain maybe 18 ounces, about half again as much as the typical 12 ounce bottle back home.

Greeted by Catherine, our local guide in Hangzhou

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the Hangzhou area tomorrow. Yes, it was raining in Hangzhou as we arrived. There are 9 million residents in the city. Thus far, all of the cars (vans) that we have been driven in are all stick shift and none have a GPS system.

Good night !!!

To be continue...

--by Charlie Kath (customer of Visit Our China)