Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gaoqiao Holland Village (5/20/2012)

Sunday, May 20, 2012
At first we cancelled the trip to Gaoqiao due to rain, but after picking up Kent's tailor-made suits and eating lunch, we decided to go ahead as it had cleared. We are sure glad we did!
Met Bruno at the Century Avenue Metro station and took Line 6 north almost to the end. We were still in Pudong, but in the town of Gaoqiao!
From the Metro station, we followed the canal:
Noticed "Dutch-looking" architecture, first this building with crenellated battlements:
A clock tower:
And a few gable facades:
This isn't a typical Chinese pavilion!
Then this mixture of western and Chinese architecture:
Built in the early 1930s as a home for Shen Jinfu, a local rags-to-riches entrepreneur. The building is bullet-proof and waterproof. It is now home to the Gaoqiao Historical Culture Exhibition Hall.
The amazing back of the building on the canal:
This fancy "Greek" building is the public toilet:
Note the card-playing group.
Cattle skulls:
Awesome cattle heads:
Playthings for a toddler?
Arched bridge for pedestrians only:
A peek in an arbored yard:
This bridge was handicapped accessible!
It led to a Qing Dynasty-style home:
We were examining a tree out front, when an old man walking by motioned us into the house. We hesitantly walked in and found several men sitting in the reception room. They all motioned us in, and we realized we were in a museum for the painter Qian Hui'an (1833-1911). After looking at the paintings in the room, we were motioned towards the back. There were several halls and courtyards to this place, which also housed the town's art gallery.
Old carved wood and slate roof tiles:
All the art gallery paintings were framed the same way:
And just look at the lighting that has been installed!
Of course, none of the lights were turned on.
Then one of the men led us down an alley to the pedestrian street to another Qing-style house, and motioned us in. This was a museum to show the lifestyle of the (wealthy) Ling Family.
View of entry courtyard and gate:
The home was built in 1918. Lots of typical Chinese furniture and lots of rosewood furniture. But here in the master's bedroom the furniture was labeled Zelkova:
Zelkova schneideriana turns out to be a type of tree/wood!
In a room of farm implements, an outfit made from animals hairs:
Back out on the pedestrian street:
The building on the left is the Zhong House, another rags-to-riches success who built this western-influenced house in the late 1920s.
First view of Holland Village:
Holland Village is another of the "One City, Nine Towns" plan. Designed by the Dutch firm Kuipers Engineering, the village is modeled on Kattenbroek, a suburb of Amersfoort in the Netherlands.
It also contains replicas of other Dutch landmarks, such as the Hofwijck Mansion in Voorburg:
Fellow explorer Bruno:
A replica of the de Bijenkorf department store on the Dam Square in Amsterdam:
A monster remote-controlled car:
A "church:"
More buildings on the local Dam Square:
This is a mirror replica of the ABN-AMRO building on the Dam Square in Amsterdam.
A much reduced replica of the Netherlands Maritime Museum:
This building housed a McDonald's-type playground:
Another town for weddings and wedding photography:
Wedding party photo on the local train:
The main street was indeed full of replica Dutch buildings, with the iconic gable facades:
They even have the pulley hooks and ceramic plaques:
This one says "Delfts Blauw." It would have been nice to have a Blue Delft ceramics shop here...
Unusual brick design:
I wonder if that is Dutch?
The sun is trying to come out!
Like so many of the other new towns, this one was largely empty.
First view of the windmill:
Canalside Dutch facades:
Weeping willows along the canal:
The windmill:
which houses a wedding photography business.
A replica of the Magere Brug/Skinny Bridge in Amsterdam:
Bridal couple in the willows:
De molen/the windmill:
The windmill was located on a island in the river, thus on a towhead:
Umm, I suppose the grown-ups will have thrown-up after warding their kids from doing water activities in the mainland...
On a clear day, one could better see the two tallest buildings in downtown Pudong from here:
In regular town Gaoqiao, a bathroom specialty shop:
Check out the winning lottery numbers:
The minder of the store is watching TV:
You go, girl?
A snack vendor:
A very labor-intensive snack. First pour a bit of soy oil in the heated "cup." Put in a bit of pork, and some chopped carrots and scallions, then stir fry. Crack open an egg and stir it in, cook and turn it over to cook some more. Then lift the egg concoction and pour in a bit of batter, set the egg on top and let cook. Then lift the thing, pour in more batter and flip the half-battered egg on top. Flip a couple times to make sure it gets browned, then it is done. Now realize, he is doing all of this in different stages with his seven spots!
And all on the back of his motorbike:
For 3 RMB/50 cents, a delicious savory snack!
The batter tasted like it had potatoes in it, yum!
Kent and Bruno enjoy theirs:
The arched bridge from the plaza:
Lots of dogs on the pedestrian street:
Colorful rag mops:
Brooms made from palm fiber:
A shaved Siberian husky:
This town had many game rooms:
Two floors of game rooms:
We started off to see the Holland Village, and saw so much more of this great little town of Gaoqiao!

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