This morning—Wednesday—we set out at 9 o’clock from the hotel in Shanghai for the three-hour drive to Hangzhou. Everyone was up and out on time so we got a good start and the traffic was not bad. After a brief rest stop on the road, we arrived in Hangzhou in time for an excellent lunch. After lunch we headed over to West Lake. West Lake is perhaps the most famous lake in China, with over thirty other lakes named after it, including one in Yangzhou, which we will also visit. After taking a leisurely boat ride and walking around, we headed into the city for dinner, hosted by three George School Chinese students’ families. This was held in a very upscale restaurant in one of the biggest dining rooms you can imagine with perhaps the world’s largest lazy susan moving the food around. There were some twenty-four different dishes of local Chinese food. Our hosts also presented the students with several gifts: a painted fan for keeping them cool and a packet of herbs traditionally hung at the door to keep the evil spirits and mosquitoes (also evil) away. Today is Duanwujie, or Dragon Boat Festival day, and this is a local tradition. After dinner we headed to a small hostel for the night.

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