Yesterday was national day in China. It’s a day to celebrate the formation of the People’s Republic of China back in 1949, and the people were definitely out in force.
Beijing was packed full of people making their way to Tiananmen Square for the festivities that evening. We had to leave Beijing before the final celebrations, but the day was stressful enough. Most roads were closed making it almost impossible to make your way to the square, and once we eventually did get there, there was nothing to see, and we swiftly left. We made our way to Starbucks for a Frappuccino to cool us down from the baking heat.
Our time in Beijing was enjoyable, but I think we were both ready to leave. Spending a week there was very tiring. That could have been to do with the amount of Tsingtao that we drank during the week, or the amount of dumplings that we ate each day. The dumplings have actually been our best find so far, and we’ve tried every variety that we could find.
Beijing wasn’t without incident. On returning from one of my daily trips to get breakfast, I was greeted by a concerned Katy saying “I’ve had a nightmare”. On walking into our bathroom, I discovered that half of the wall tiles were smashed on the floor, and the toilet blocked. Being practical (yes, she can be sometimes), Katy thought she would get on with some washing while I was out. On attaching our cordless washing line to the wall, she brought half the wall down with it. Luckily no fees were incurred, even though we snapped the room card in half as well.
In our last days in Beijing we took a visit to the Great Wall and a day at the Summer Palace. The Great Wall was amazing, but quite hard work. We didn’t have the best day weather wise, but still had some great views. Katy almost died on the first stretch of our walk, before we were even on the wall, and it was definitely a test of our fitness.
I also had the experience of eating a scorpion from a hutong street seller. Katy wasn’t brave enough to try one, but it was quite a funny experience.
We’ve now arrived in Chengdu for 6 days, and we’re looking forward to chilling out for a bit. First impressions of the city are not at all what I imagined. I was picturing a small picturesque town with a village feel, with pandas roaming freely. Instead we were greeted with another sprawling industrial city with a love of neon. Our hostel here is great though, and we’re looking forward to part two of our adventure in China.
Until the next time…