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Hah! I haven’t posted in such a long time, I bet you all thought I’m dead by now! Fear not, I’m quite alive and kicking – in fact, more than usual, as I wasn’t able to squander my time on Facebook and other useless stuff that the People’s Republic of China protects me from with their all-mighty firewall – thank you, o leaders.

Anyway, back on track.

Sometime ago I went on a one-day trip to another water town called Wuzhen. This one is a bit bigger than the previous one, so the price of the tickets and the number of visitors were also accordingly larger. Fortunately it was a Friday, so it wasn’t as crowded as it might be on a weekend.

Wuzhen lies close to the Grand Canal, the main waterway of old China leading from Beijing to Hangzhou, and it is to this fact that it owed its prosperity till well into the nineteenth century. It was also famous for its blue-dyed calico and many great personalities, most recently Mao Dun, a very popular writer of the modern China.

The town is divided into the West and East districts, for which you buy separate tickets. I’ve only seen the East District and it was worthwhile, but I’ve read some opinions that the West district is actually quieter and nicer. Also, if you want to spend the night, that is where the hotels are.

The pictures are presented more or less in the order they were taken, so – pretty random.

One of the main canals with barges and houses

A stone lion guarding a bridge – China is not renowned for lions, so no wonder their stone depictions look like anything but.

A detail of an old house (yes, there are actually people living here!)

Nice roof shape

In the Craftsmen District – a calligraphy shop

A wood sculpture workshop

A wooden Guanyin and a laughing boy

Painting accessories

Calligraphy and painting brushes

Horn accessories and the shop owner eating his lunch

Tobacco and pipes

Another canal. They are kind of similar…

An old local peering out

A pensive painter

A traditional New Year ornament – the red “Double Luck” character. Plus a horseshoe over the door – I didn’t know they did it in China too. And a mirror.

Cool door.

A besequined tourist

Colourful umbies.

A detail of a wall

Rooms with a view…

Traditional pouches for perfume – so I’ve been told.

I don’t remember the name, but they were sticky, made out of green bean – and delicious.

Traditional wood decoration

Ha! How many times have I said there’s a secret link between China and Poland? Wuzhen was the home of Mao Dun, one of the most famous writers of modern China. Here: a Polish edition of one of his novels in the house he grew up in.

Communism still doing well: the little plaque says “a civilised household”. It means that the family was chosen by the members of the community as a model of all virtues.

Wuzhen was famous for its navy blue calico, still made here to this day. Watch out while washing, though – the colour bleeds the first time round.

A sizeable ashtray…

A little marina at the end of the canal