.....On Tuesday we took a bus from hangzhou to Huangshan. Despite the bus looking a bit tired it cruised fairly effortlessly along the highway and it took slightly less than 3 hours. Getting the bus tickets and finding our boarding gate was quite easy. The the road was very good and it was nice to see a bit of the countryside. Greg had a bit of trouble with his seat though - every time we hit a bump his seat would recline back a little more. He tried straightening it up each time but in the end gave up.
We befriended a young student who is studying in Beijing but comes from Huangshan and was returning home for a short holiday. He is very proud of his hometown and showed us his high school and his parents house. He kindly organised a taxi for us after we got off the bus but there was also another passenger as well with his luggage already in the boot. The driver loaded ours on but both our suitcases were sticking out and the boot would not shut. Is OK OK the driver said but we decided it was not ok and took our suitcases out and went to find another taxi with the driver running after us shouting and trying to drag our luggage back to his cab.
The second taxi diver stopped a little while before our destination and asked for the address of the hotel again then made a call on his mobile. He then drove for a bit and stopped in front of a row of shops where an elderly lady with no English met us and tried to grab our suitcases and drag them down a tiny alleyway. Inspector Thomas was getting quite perturbed by this stage but when I said to check the phone number on the sign at the alleyway entrance against our booking reference it was all good. She had just come out to show us to the hotel as there was noway we would ever have it on our own.
The hotel is something else. It is made up of two very old houses and has original furnishings. The staff speak very little English but are very obliging and friendly. Further up the alleyway is a narrow street with lots of souvenir and antique shops as well as restaurants and bars. We had dinner at one of the restaurants which had a little dog very much like Oscar only much better behaved. We then had a walk along the river which is very pretty at night and finally succumbed to a pedi car ride around. I felt very sorry for the poor fellow having to pull both our weights and with no gears. Greg got him to sit in the back with me while he had a go. I thought he was going to hit a car at one stage. The driver thought it was hilarious and was very glad of the big tip we gave him.