Eclipse washout

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Taohuawoo Youth Hostel

Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Alison: Marco Polo once said that Suzhou was one of the most beautiful cities in China....well, it might have been once but the parts we saw were not very picturesque! It is another town that is criss crossed with canals which sounds nice on paper but isn't very nice when they are stagnant and full of litter. Suzhou is also well known for it's beautiful gardens which were very pretty but didn't really make up for the rest of the town. However, we didn't really go to Suzhou for its beauty, the main reason was to view the total eclipse. Suzhou is just outside Shanghai and we thought it would be a better place to view than Shanghai because the smog can be very thick in the cities. We did a little bit of research on the eclipse and we found that the eclipse was due to start at about 8am and that total eclipse would hapen at about 9.30am. We went to bed and set our alarms to get up really early so we could catch the whole thing. When we sprang out of bed in the morning we were gutted to find that there was a major thunder storm going on. It was only the second time we had seen torrential rain in China and it had to be on this day. We still went up on the roof of the hostel for the actual total eclipse which was still really amazing. One moment it was light, the next complete pitch black. Lots of fireworks and a really good atmosphere. Lots of gasps and then silence as people marvelled at the event. It even stopped raining whilst it happened...weird. The rain soon started up again and continued for the rest of the day but we didn't care because our bedroom tv had the first English channel we had seen in China....Discovery. What we don't know about railway construction just ain't worth knowing! And who'd of thought it was so complex constructing a combine harvestor ;-) 

Nigel is currently watching sport and drinking beer so is unable to contribute to this blog! He'll work extra hard on the Shanghai entry....     
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