I was tidying up today (don't faint I do have the odd guilt trip. Yes I know very odd) and I found all my old travel diaries. Hmm No more tidying whilst I re-read them. Oh the memories!
So I decided to share some of them in an occasional blog.
The Great Wall at Badaling
The bottom is as busy and tacky as a busy day at Blackpool. Souvenir stalls, camels (camels?), food vendors and tinny music. DH decides to but a tacky souvenir ornament of the wall.
Luckily son #1 speaks Mandarin. The stall holder wants 4 RMB (yuan) there's about 14 to the pound sterling.
DH only had a 5 yuan note. Stall holder to son #1, "for that you have two." We are now the proud owners of two identical tacky souvenir ornaments of The Great Wall.
Daughter freaks out as people keep grabbing her arm to have their picture taken with her. After the tenth time of "Mum, help," she gives in and smiles at umpteen cameras, along with her brothers. The promise of chocolate may have helped.
Halfway to the watch tower I tell a joke. Well I thought it was a joke, got the giggles and ended up tears streaming down my cheeks at my wit. No idea what it was, none of us can remember, except they all said it wasn't funny! I've been told from now on this sort of thing will be known as a mum-moment! Fame at last.
We saw a lady with bound feet. All these years after the horrendous practice was allegedly stopped. Poor woman had to be helped to walk.
Got back to Beijing and went to that universally known burger bar. Amazed how many of these places there are in the city (over 300.) Daughter and I need the loo. Horrors, it's a squatty one! She changes her mind, especially as the queue is so long and women are pulling their trousers up (and down) in the corridor to vacate the loo faster.
Somewhat surreal feeling in hotel as its restaurant is an Indian Restaurant and staffed by Chinese people in Indian dress!
We went to a video cafe to see Airforce One. You get your own little room... (got me thinking why!!) The film was in English with Korean sub titles! No wonder I didn't really understand what was going on, as the bits where they spoke in Russian or whatever, and the film had subtitles, were impossible to see.
Every road junction, spare bit of land has rice growing on it!
We went to the Great Wall at Simatai, much less crowded. I lost my bottle and had to slide down a hundered feet or so on my bum. The others carried on (b***ers) and I sat and waited for them to come back. Not only did they leave me they took the grub! A man appeared from nowhere and started to sweep the dust!
It was so peaceful, quiet and still. I could here the jangle of a bell on a donkey in the village way below. A bird of prey flew past and its wings creaked.
The mountains go off in a blue haze as far as I could see. I can understand why people worship them.
We came down from the wall the same way as we went up to it. In a very airconditioned Chair Lift. Each hole held together by rust!
And the loos! Urgh. At the bottom they were bad enough. A stone building, no door, six holes and take your pick. At the top, ditto, but each hole filled with rubbish. A great exercise in learning to control your bladder. I swear I'm going to write a book called around the world in 80 loos!