Exploring sans hosts
Sunday morning we could sleep in--breakfast buffet lasts until 9:30. We had some ideas about things we would like to see: The anti-Japanese mountain memorial, a big resevoir outside of town and the monument to XuFu who legend says took an expedition to Japan many years ago.
Maps are tough to come by in China. The internet map options sometimes help a bit but often don't have enough detail. Armed with a xerox of a city may all in Chinese characters we went to the front desk. They helped us locate the places and wrote them in characters for us. Then we had to broach how to get there. Two of the three places were not accessible by bus so perhaps a taxi. The desk people checked on the price for a taxi to take us and stay with us. We thought 400 Yuan too steep. We thought 300 sounded better. The taxi service wouldn't come down. So we asked if any of them had friends with a car.
Indeed they found us someone. Ten minutes later a Mr. Chen arrived in a modern small car and off we went. He was an excellent driver, knew the way and as it turned out was an off duty police officer.......
Our first stop was the resevoir, a large dam spans the width and it provides all the drinking water for Ganyu. Oddly there was no recreational activity on this large beautiful lake, with the exception of fishing.
Our second stop was the Anti-Japanese Mountain. It was a large complex comprised of gardens and walkways culminating in a huge statue at the top. It commemorates all those who fought against the Japanese. There were lots of stele and inscribed stone monuments.........also lots of stairs.
On the way through the countryside we saw all sorts of random things---a Buddhist burial site,
and every crop imaginable---rows of raspberries, fields of watermelon, rice galore. The roads were narrow paved cement with symmetrical plantings of trees lining the roadside. Our driver pulled over and treated us to some watermelon on the way to Xufu site.]
We were pretty unclear about the site when we got there....it was under reconstruction. It looked like part temple, part unknown...Xufu was a legendary fellow who ostensibly took 100 boys and 100 girls on an expedition looking for the fountain of youth.........landed in Japan and founded the Japanese people.........the "history" is murky---some texts put the numbers in the thousands others describe him as a sorcerer or alchemist....
there was a big statue of him in any event...