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Garden in SuzhouOct. 22, 2007
Today we took the train to Suzhou, where silk originated.  Our first stop was a beautiful garden & pagoda.  They used the windows like frames & had lime rock sculptures & bonsai tress as the center piece of the window. 





Silk Factory Next we went  to one of 144 silk factories in Suzhou.  We got to see how the silk worms roll themselves into little silk pods & how the silk is harvested.  Real silk is extremely strong & is stretched to make layers for quilts.  They also have frames that they stretch the silk over, after wetting it, until they get about 100 layers to make the fabric. 




Tiger Hill in Suzhou After a pretty mediocre lunch across the street from the silk factory, we went to Tiger Hill.  Perfect timing we got there just as they we starting a parade and they put on a small play.  We climbed about 100 stairs to the top.  We wish we would have had more time in Suzhou, because they have about 88 gardens & it would have been nice to go to a few more factories.  Oh, well something to do next time.    We left Suzhou around 4:00 & had a good dinner at the hotel & then we sadly had to pack to come home. 

 



Maglev TrainOct 23, 2007
We took our tour bus to the high speed train.  Unfortunately, on the way there, one of those untrustworthy red cabs cut off our bus & we hit him.    We were afraid we were going to have to wait for the police & miss our connection. The bus diver decided to pay off the cab driver to make sure we wouldn't be late. He paid him about 200 Yuan ($27). We all chipped in to cover the cost. The trian ride was amazing. We reached a speed of 431 km/hour (268 miles /hr).