ALP – After class

30 May

by Benjamin Lee

Hi everyone,

This is our third week in Hangzhou city. Lessons have already started, but I won’t elaborate much about it, since what my teammates and I have been doing so far is quite similar to the initial stages of our design course back in Term 2. The main difference is that we have a lot of sketching to do. Oh and that’s on top of the usual homework that is assigned.

Anyway, here’s a short photo essay about Zhejiang University’s Zijingang Campus and what we’ve been up to last weekend.

Group photo near the peak of 老和山

Group photo near the peak of 老和山, with 西湖 visible in the background. And yes, that branch at the top right should be chopped off -_-

Most of us had already explored the neighbourhood and other famous attractions in Week 1, so a few of us decided to follow in the footsteps of our peers from 2-2 and go hiking for a change. On Saturday, the weather was surprisingly good (it was foggy / hazy / raining for most of the past few days). We climbed to the West Lake scenic area from a road behind the Yuquan Campus, and walked down the ridge.

the view to the west

This was the view facing the west as we were reaching our destination, 北高峰. You definitely don’t get to see this kind of scenery with atmospheric perspective back home.

Roller blading performance

The following day, we were still slightly tired from the hike (I blame all that oily food we’ve been eating ._.) so we just hung out at the campus. When exiting the canteen after lunch, we ran into a large crowd right outside. It turned out that the roller blading club was putting up a performance (on a Sunday afternoon), so we stayed to watch. Personally, I have never seen such stunts and techniques being pulled off on roller blades, so it was definitely an eye-opening experience. Guys, time to learn from the CCA culture here.

Spring

After that, I took a solitary walk around the campus. It’s supposed to be the end of spring, but the weather is still relatively cool and flowers are still in full bloom. The parks and green spaces were filled with people (not just students or staff, there seems to be other members of the public too) having picnics with their families, flying kites, or just chilling around.

I nearly forgot to mention: the Zijingang campus is huge. Can you imagine what we felt like on our first day: students from one of the world’s smallest universities, stepping foot into such a large campus? And this isn’t the only campus; Zhejiang University has 5 campuses (we’re based at Zijingang, and as mentioned earlier we’ve visited Yuquan).

International Design Institute (IDI)

It started raining again on Monday afternoon. The rain here isn’t like that of a tropical thunderstorm; it’s gentle and long lasting (some call it 长命雨), and is somewhat like a fine mist settling on the ground. It stopped as we were walking out of campus after dinner. For some reason, I turned back to look at the School of Architecture (this is where we currently go for lessons), and stopped in my tracks. Despite walking here just about everyday, the building and the sky have never looked this awesome before.

just another rainy day

And after another one or two hot days, the skies became overcast and the rain started to fall again. Today was surprisingly chilly, given that summer is supposed to be just round the corner. With the wind chill, the experience did not seem too far off from winter. I guess that’s why most of the locals all wear jeans and covered shoes, and always have an umbrella with them at all times.

It’s time to get back to work. I’ll try to post more photos again after the next few weeks (when the internet is reliable >_>).

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