We left about 8:30 to catch the bus to Shanghai station to go to Suzhou for the day.We breezed in to the right queue (where they spoke English) but our first problem was the earliest train we could get was 10:25 and the next problem was the earliest back was 19:45.That pretty much fixed our day.
We filled in the time waiting for the train with breakfast.The train was another hi speed one - 200 kph.We didn't realise but we had 1st class tickets so it was very comfy and all for £2.50 each way for 60 km.
In Suzhou, our first port of call was the Humble Administrators garden. (Suzhou is famed for its gardens and for silk)When we got inside, disaster struck - my camera didn't work(the battery was flatwithout warning) so no photos of Suzhou.The garden was beautiful - it actually had some flowers out which made it colourful.This is unusual for Chinese gardens.It still had the normal pools, rocks and pavilions.Everything was done to make it tranquil however the effect was spoiled by the Chinese tour groups.They go through 50 strong, all chatting away,with a leader speaking through an amplifier - certainly not tranquil.
We then went to the Couples garden.This was supposed to be less touristy. We eventually found it and there were less tourists there because it wasn't that good!We sat down in it and had a rest because by this time we had been walking for 3 hours and it was quite hot.(Temperature here is now about 29C and only dropping to low 20s at night - first time we have been warm since we left England).
The next garden was the 'Master of the Fishing Nets' Garden.This was a much better place - but more pavilions than gardens although it did have the best pool feature.After this we hoped a cab to see the Silk museum - which was interesting but only a front to sell silk.Fran was tempted as it was cheap and seemed very good but decided she couldn't carry the silk dressing gown she liked (saved again).