Trip Of A Lifetime

Friday, November 10, 2006

China Experience

Well, we've been here for about five days now. We have no photos as yet though because although we've been taking them like crazy, we've not had a chance to convert them onto cd so you need to be patient. Hopefully we can do it in China but if not we'll do it at home because we'll be home in less than a month!

We love China! Our guides are great and everything is so interesting. We just got off the 12 hour train from Beijing to Xian and we actually slept alright even though at times I felt a little like I was in a cocktail shaker. Having a shower was a definite priority though as there was only a washroom and you couldn't close the door on that so it was a matter of arriving at the hotel, eating breakfast and then coming to this Internet cafe... $1 for one hour.

We did a lot in Beijing. On day one we saw Tiananmen Square, with it's giant statues of their Olympic mascots and the larger than life picture of Mao. We wandered around the Forbidden City which was fascinating. I watched The Last Emporer before leaving England, so it was really easy for me to imagine the royal families wandering around these grounds. We also went to the Lama Temple where we learnt a bit about Buddhism and saw this hude statue of Buddha that was three stories high!

Our second day was taken up with The Great Wall. We went early to beat the tourists (hehehe) and it was the right decision because there were so many people there when we were coming down that you had to keep stopping to let them pass. Adie made it all the way to the top of the section we were at, I only went about a third of the way. The steps are uneven and blooody steep! It's an amazing place though. At the top Adie made friends with two Chinese guys who walked up in their suits!

Day three was at the summer palace... because everyone needs a holiday house! We saw beautiful gardens, bridges, water, buildings... and in the afternoon we went to the Silk Street Market where if you so much as look at someone's goods, they will shout after you and follow you for an eternity. It was an experience we enjoyed though. Others found it to be a bit too confronting. I don't really mind being called "sexy lady" though.

Yesterday was our final day in Beijing and we went to the Temple of Heaven. I just can't get over how ornate these building are! The culture here is so rich and the people live their lives in much the same way that they have for hundreds of years. We also visited an area of Beijing that is still set up with traditional houses surrunding shared courtyards. We were able to go into a house and look around, meet some pet crickets and a myna bird that kept on saying hello in Chinese. We also went to a kindergarten to meet some of the children.

Now we're in Xian where we will see the Terracotta Warriors, but not before we've eaten lunch. This is because they feed us and feed us and feed us! Everyone I spoke to told me that I would lose weight in China but so far I'm pretty sure that I'm putting it on! Admittedly I have not had a problem with the food and have happily tried everything put in front of me. There's no dairy, except at breakfast for coffee and very little bread but I'm loving the food! I'll have to be careful or I'll be coming home looking like the Happy Buddha!


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