http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/spring-at-west-lake-china/article/433464

Spring at West Lake, China Special

Posted May 17, 2015 by Lonna Lisa Williams
West Lake in Hangzhou, China has been the setting of history, poetry, and romance for 2,000 years. Walk with me through garden paths, over stone bridges, islands, pagodas, and tiled courtyards to celebrate spring.
A statue of the White Snake Woman near the pagoda where she was imprisoned in West Lake
A statue of the White Snake Woman near the pagoda where she was imprisoned in West Lake
I went to West Lake in Hangzhou, China in May and saw so many colorful flowers and people. Walk with me by the lake, on paths across stone bridges, through parks, temples, pavilions, and historic buildings with statues. West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. For 2,000 years it has been the source of inspiration for poets, artists, photographers, and even filmmakers.
My students told me the romantic story of the immortal White Snake who became a woman and fell in love with a mortal man. The turtle god of the lake was jealous, so he imprisoned her under a pagoda. However, the man still loved the White Snake Woman, and they were eventually reunited and had a son. This story has been made into television series and films.
Emperors from many Chinese Dynasties visited West Lake and inscribed its famous “Ten Scenes” with poetic names like “Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds,” “Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon, and “Orioles Singing in the Willows.” As far back as the 14th Century, Europeans visited West Lake, including Italian explorer Marco Polo, who wrote that Hangzhou “is the most splendid heavenly city in the world.” Spring and romance are here in China!
From the Hangzhou city bus stop  you can walk left and see cafes and boat docks at West Lake
From the Hangzhou city bus stop, you can walk left and see cafes and boat docks at West Lake
You can see inside the floating dragon boat restaurant
You can see inside the floating dragon boat restaurant
The front of the dragon boat restaurant at West Lake
The front of the dragon boat restaurant at West Lake
See sunlight shining on West Lake to the left of the dragon boat
See sunlight shining on West Lake to the left of the dragon boat
Colorful girls from China s northwest Xinjiang Province pose near the dragon boat
Colorful girls from China's northwest Xinjiang Province pose near the dragon boat
A tourist feeds a hungry squirrel corn near West Lake
A tourist feeds a hungry squirrel corn near West Lake
Willows grace canals on the walkways at West Lake
Willows grace canals on the walkways at West Lake
People walking along West Lake s pathway
People walking along West Lake's pathway
A hotel by West Lake
A hotel by West Lake
A colorful stone bridge over the lake
A colorful stone bridge over the lake
A statue of the White Snake Woman near the pagoda where she was imprisoned in West Lake
A statue of the White Snake Woman near the pagoda where she was imprisoned in West Lake
I took a boat ride across the lake and saw the shore
I took a boat ride across the lake and saw the shore
Some people rode in small boats near the temple tower
Some people rode in small boats near the temple tower
The boat moored at an island where we followed a walkway
The boat moored at an island where we followed a walkway
The walkway led to a wall with a circular door viewing West Lake
The walkway led to a wall with a circular door viewing West Lake
Another walkway bordered lily ponds
Another walkway bordered lily ponds
The water lilies were not quite ready to open
The water lilies were not quite ready to open
Willows and colorful trees made the lily ponds look like spring
Willows and colorful trees made the lily ponds look like spring
Entrance to the walking bridge to the right of West Lake
Entrance to the walking bridge to the right of West Lake
Colorful flowers by the lake
Colorful flowers by the lake
Walk to the right at West Lake and follow a long pathway bordered on both sides by water
Walk to the right at West Lake and follow a long pathway bordered on both sides by water
A view of the lake from the long walking bridge
A view of the lake from the long walking bridge
China  Zhejiang province: Relaxing by the lake.
China, Zhejiang province: Relaxing by the lake.
A dragon boat floats between islands on West Lake
A dragon boat floats between islands on West Lake
A villa by the lake
A villa by the lake
Courtyards inside the villa
Courtyards inside the villa
People relax at a cafe by the lake
People relax at a cafe by the lake
Brilliant flowers along one of the lake s gardens
Brilliant flowers along one of the lake's gardens
A family plays in the garden
A family plays in the garden
A woman poses by the statue of a famous Chinese poet who wrote about West Lake
A woman poses by the statue of a famous Chinese poet who wrote about West Lake
A garden statue of a powerful Chinese woman  perhaps Mulan who was portrayed in a Disney film
A garden statue of a powerful Chinese woman, perhaps Mulan who was portrayed in a Disney film
An artist paints a woman s portrait in the garden by West Lake
An artist paints a woman's portrait in the garden by West Lake
A Rolls Royce by West Lake is adorned for a spring wedding
A Rolls Royce by West Lake is adorned for a spring wedding
Newliweds pose on church steps near West Lake in Hangzhou
Newliweds pose on church steps near West Lake in Hangzhou