Saturday, August 1, 2015

China 1

 I am going to try and blog about our ( my two sister's and my Mother's) journey to China.
I did write about it at the time but unfortunately a lot of the interesting personal stuff is lost. But here, I'll give it a go. This is for you guys, Mum, Kay and Di , oh and you Dad too, of course - as I promised:

 Part 1

19th March 2007.

Everything packed , much more than I need in fact and I arrive at Mum's at 9.30.p.m. on the Sunday evening, relieved to be there safely the night before flying off to China.  Di, Mum, Dad and myself ponder the great adventure in front of us. As it's a Sunday Elaine is also there drinking tea and enjoying the chat.  I am looking forward excitedly to this special holiday with my two sisters and mum.

Looking at our luggage, huge suitcases bursting at the seams you'd be forgiven for thinking that we were going for three months or more, but no, it's just a couple of weeks.

So the next evening we arrive at the airport, get confused about where we are supposed to be and wait around chattering on about the mighty sights we will see. What fun we will have. We giggle like school girls, mum being the biggest culprit.

The flight is long and I sleep for a good while but about  12.40 a.m. (English Time) I am wide awake and discover we're only a few hours away from Beijing. It's 8.30 in the morning  ( big time difference) and the sun is shining.

We are so excited and when we look out of the window we see that we are flying over the most glorious mountains.  We all go to the toilet .

Morning has come too early and they bring breakfast. We're not ready for breakfast. after all, to us it's the middle of the night (1.0 a.m !!!! for goodness sake and dinner was only 6.30.p.m.)
Di and Kay, still sleepy after travelling through time zones, but where food is concerned we are not known to say no. We make a good effort at eating breakfast - you never know when the next meal might be and it looks as if we'll be out of routine with dinner etc etc .
We haven't long finished breakfast when we start the descent into Beijing.

Just a very small section of the enormous city of Beijing

The view from above is amazing - a concrete planet of high rise buildings. Beijing City, we discover is at least the size of  the county of Kent and  makes London ( Greater London, that is ) seem so teeny.
The population of London being 8 million, Beijing has 11.5 million. Not all of areas of Beijing are as crowded as London but the centre seems much  more dense with people .

And when we travel long hours to the hotel on that first day we  wonder how big it is with it's many roads of six lanes of traffic and huge skyscrapers wherever you look.

We are given a tour guide, who, for the sake of us English folk calls himself Mike. His accent  is tinted with a collection of other languages but mainly American. He is helpful and enthusiastic and tells us a bit about the History of Beijing.   It is one of the four ancient cities of China along with Xian, Luoyang and Nanjing.. It is known as the cradle of humanity with Peking man living here 700,000 years ago.  

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