A Travellerspoint blog

Day 15 - Beijing to Brisbane

sunny

Hi everyone

Thankfully our last day in China allowed us to have a sleep in. We had to have our bags ready at 9.45am and then we left the hotel at 10.30am for the airport. The people heading back to Melbourne had an earlier flight than those of us who had to fly back to Sydney but we all had to go together. Check-in wasn't open until 12.30pm as our flight to Nanjing wasn't until 3.45pm. We thought checking in early would ensure getting a good seat - um, no. We were in row 68 (there were only 76) and poor Cheryl's chair was broken so it kept reclining. Thankfully it wasn't a full flight so I was able to move and she had my seat. We got to Nanjing and had to get off the plane then back through immigration and security (even though we had just gotten off a plane) - it all seemed a bit silly. We waited for about an hour and then re-boarded the same plane for the next 10 hours with NO inflight entertainment. Again, the flight was not full so I was able to move to another seat. I guess they think because it's an overnight flight most people will sleep. I know Cheryl didn't sleep a lot. I think I got a few more hours than she did. I did managed to get half way through my book so all was not lost :).

Our flight landed in Sydney at 8am this morning. Having taken full advantage of duty free before we left, we picked up our booty and then went through immigration and customs with no issues at all. We went to the transfer counter and arrived at the domestic terminal by 9.30am. Our flight was slightly delayed but we were home and having lunch by 1.45pm. Best thing about being home - several - having a shower after being in the same clothes for over 24 hours - seeing the cats (Oscar is following my every move, while Logie has bonded with his sitter Carolyn). Best thing will be sleeping in my own bed tonight with my own pillow.

Back to work tomorrow and the holiday will be but a distant memory. Have heaps of photos to go through and upload and will do this when I get the chance.

Thank you all who have followed our travels.

Take care
Janelle

Posted by Chernelle 02:35 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Day 14 - Beijing

sunny 37 °C

Hi all

Today we left the hotel at 8am and went to a Jade Factory. I didn't realise that Jade came in colours other than green. It also comes in purple and white and multi-colours. I will post some photos of some different things carved from Jade. Today was the first of a 3-day holiday to celebrate the dragon boat races so traffic was quite bad as was the smog. After the Factory we went to the Ming Tombs where 13 Emperors are buried along with their concubines.

We spent 45 mins walking the area and then we had to leave and go for an early lunch. Apparently it's a good time to walk the wall around lunchtime as it's not so busy. The restaurant was above a shopping are which sold all sorts of things from beautiful vases to plates to etched marble.

Soon it was time to head to the Great Wall. It is a sight to see. Some of the tour group went right to the very top but it was way too hot for most of the group. If you reached the top you got a gold medal with your name engraved on it. It was 37 today with a humidity of 87%.

I did get a t-shirt which said I climbed the wall 😀. All too soon we had to leave and head back to the hotel to rest before we went out for dinner which included Peking Duck. We watched the chef calve the duck before having lessons on how best to eat it we had small crepes to roll the duck in. You take some duck and dip it in the sauce (which is really salty) and then add shallots and cut up vegetables. Once you've got enough you roll it up and eat it. The skin is absolutely delicious.

After dinner it was back to the hotel for packing and getting ready to head home. We leave for the airport at 10.30. Our flight doesn't leave until 3.45 and we have to fly to Nanjing where we have to get off the plane and wait for 90mins and get back on the same plane for the 11hr flight home. We have to get our lunch at the airport before we go through customs as there are no eateries on the other side.

I will post a short entry when I get home to finish off the blog.

As always please check out the photos.

Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 05:53 Archived in China Comments (1)

Day 13 - Beijing

sunny 34 °C

Hi all

It's hard to believe our amazing holiday is almost over. Today was another slow day as we only had a half day tour today. We left the hotel at 11.30 and caught the bus to an older part of Beijing where we jumped onto rickshaws and rode to a local family's house where they cooked us a delicious lunch. More older people
Love in this part of the city as it's cheaper. Younger people prefer to live in apartments closer to downtown.

After lunch we got back in the rickshaw and went back to the bus. We then went to a local market for some last minute shopping. We haggled our butts off. I got a new carry on suitcase for Y190 from Y480. Cheryl got a mahjong set from Y360 to Y175. I also helped someone get a stuffed panda for Y45. They wanted Y200!

We then came back to the hotel for a rest and I found out one of the ladies had to open her corn wine as the bottle was leaking. OMG it was like paint stripper - it has an alcohol content of 54%. I cannot begin to tell you how vile it was lol

At 7, a few of us walked to the Olympic Stadium - otherwise known as the Birds Nest - it's an incredible building. Just to be somewhere like that was quite special. The Chinese government took down the Olympic flame off the top and mounted it outside the stadium. There is also a running track outside where one wall is dedicated to all the medal winners of the 2008 Olympics.

We then went to dinner at the local shopping centre and had pizza - it was pretty good too. Cheryl had a huge Caesar salad and a corona which cost Y73 which is about A$14.

Tomorrow will be a big day as we head out at 8am. We will be visiting a Jade Factory, the Ming Tombs and of course the Great Wall before heading for our final dinner which will include Peking Duck.

Time to upload some photos and then bed.

Until tomorrow.
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:17 Archived in China Comments (1)

Day 12 - Beijing

sunny 32 °C

Hi all

It was a late start to the day today as we didn't leave the hotel until 11.00 and headed right to a local restaurant for lunch. It took us a little while to get there so we didn't have lunch as early as you might think. We then went downtown to Tisn Anmen Square and walked around for a while. It wasn't as crowded as it could have been. We took a group photo which I have uploaded. We then went from there to the Forbidden City and that place is enormous. We were there for 3 hours and only saw half of it. Absolutely incredible. I have only put up a few photos as it's getting late. We did a lot of walking today. I reached nearly 16,000 steps! The feet held up well all things considered.

We then went to a King Fu show which was breathtaking. The performers were so disciplined and the things that even the kids did were amazing. After the performance we went to dinner for another lovely meal. We got back to the hotel around 8pm. Cheryl & I joined a couple of people and took a walk to the local shopping centre where we went on the steepest escalators I've ever been on. I didn't take a photo but we may go back there tomorrow night for dinner so will try to remember to take a pic.

Tomorrow we are going for a ride in a rickshaw and then to a local family for dinner and the. To some local markets for last minute souvenir shopping.

Time for me to say goodnight as it's almost midnight and I'm about done in. My cold is trying to come back so need as much rest as possible.

Until next time
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 08:34 Archived in China Comments (0)

Day 11 - Xi'an to Beijing

sunny

Hi all

This morning we were allowed a sleep in as we didn't need to leave the hotel until 10am. We went to visit the city wall. It was built 4,000 years ago and is the most intact defence wall in the world. The wall is 44klms long. In the centre is the bell tower which represents the centre of Xi'an. We were allowed 50mins of free time to walk around and explore. Cheryl was the star today as she was asked to have her photo taken with some Chinese lady. It's all a bit bizarre but the people are so sweet when they ask. Not all ask which is weird but most do.

We went to lunch at a local restaurant which was Buffett style and I tried poached egg in fermented sticky rice soup. Now it sounds disgusting but it was actually quite nice - very sweet.

Next stop was the airport for our flight to Beijing. Security has been very tight since the bombing in Manchester. We had to get on a bus to be driven quite a way from the terminal to the plane. The flight was just over 1-1/2 hours and the luggage came out relatively quickly - compared with Wuhan where we waited for nearly 30mins.

We drove past the Olympic Village and the stadium on our way to dinner. After dinner time for transfer to the hotel and it turns out it's near the stadium. Cheryl & I will probably go explore on our free day. Tomorrow we are off tothe Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square before going to a King Fu show.

Thankfully my cold is much better but a few more people on the tour have caught it now.

Time for photos and then bed. We get another sleep in tomorrow. Tried to have one this morning but woke up before 6am and couldn't go back to sleep. Managed to catch a few zzzzz's on the plane.

Until next time
Janelle & Cheryl

Posted by Chernelle 07:14 Archived in China Comments (0)

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