Feb 7, 2018 - St Sofia church in downtown Harbin.
A bit of a lay day today. It is so warm and cosy in the hostel, that it is tempting to just hang out. So we spent a long time, me sitting in the bar, and trying to get some catching up on here! I got good instructions to get to St Sofia church, which is a real landmark apparently. I had been talking to a young guy from Israel this morning. He is on a break, between doing his military service and going back to university for study. Yesterday he went to the Siberian Tiger park, and like some aspects of it, but did not cope with the feeding...Jump to full entry
Feb 6, 2018 - Ice and Snow Festival Harbin 2018
It took quite a bit of effort and concentration to get there, but get there we did. And what an awesome experience. So numbingly cold, down to minus 18 one time I checked. A young guy in the bar of the Hash Hostel told me that we could get there by taking two buses, the 64, and then the 119. So we set off rather late in the day, because we did not think we could be out there for too long. It was not too difficult to find the bus number 64. Our instructions had been somewhat vague - go six or seven stops and then get a number 119. So, when...Jump to full entry
Feb 5, 2018 - Early departure to get a train to Harbin.
We left the hostel at 6am, to get a taxi to the Beijing South railway station. There were so many cars and tour buses at the end of the street, and it looked like it might prove difficult to flag down a taxi. We were approached by a man who offered to take us there for 100rmb! The hostel had suggested it should cost about 40rmb, so I offered him 50rmb. But he was not willing for that price. We ended up fixing on 70rmb. A little bit of a rip-off but at least we were in a car, on our way. It was clear that he was not authorised to be...Jump to full entry
Feb 4, 2018 - To the Great Wall - and a very difficult section!
Up early again, and just time for breakfast, before heading out to get a bus to the Great Wall. It took around two hours to get there. We left at 7.30, not 7am as I said yesterday. When we got up to the ancient part of Badaling, we picked up Steven, our local guide, who gave us a run down on the section we were going to. No sellers, not many other tourists, but it seems like a very hard section. He dropped us off at around 9.30, saying he would return at 12.30 to take us for lunch. He told us that to be true Chinese Heroes, we would make it...Jump to full entry
Feb 3, 2018 - Beijing and the Forbidden City.
We did not wake until late. Can't possibly understand why. But we had to change rooms, as the air conditioning was not working in the room, and we had to share a double bed! Got moved, and then decided to head out. We did get a good breakfast at the hostel first though. Really good menu at the Leo Hostel, and fast service! Before we headed out, we booked for a show tonight, and had to be back at 6pm, to be driven to the Story of Kung Fu. We thought we would have plenty of time, but it turned out not to be so easy!! But more of that...Jump to full entry
Feb 2, 2018 - A long, long day, but made it to Beijing at last!
Had the alarm set for 4am! Yikes, this is not me at all!! But we did it. Andy and Hardie arrived at about 5am to take us to the Zhaoqing train station. At least traffic was light at that time of day! Not non-existent, but not a problem either! They took our luggage up to the train station, and helped us through the screening process. We were very glad about that, because the x-ray picked up Carol's two knives in her bags! One, just a dinner knife, and a small vegetable knife to cut up fruit on our way. We were happy that Andy was still...Jump to full entry
Today was set aside to get washing done, and dried at Winnie and Liao's house. They have a combination washer and drier, so we decided that would be the way to get washing ready to go away. We could not go there until after bout 12.30, when Winnie gets home from teaching, so in the morning, we went and had fried eggs, and black sesame paste dumplings in sago and coconut milk, then we went and got some snack food from what used to be the Goodworld Supermarket. On the way back, I went back to the market stall where Carol got her thermos...Jump to full entry
Jan 31, 2018 - Another day, with chores needing done.
Today, I sent a message to Denise to see if she could help us with collecting train tickets, and also getting my bedding to Melrose's house. We arranged to meet her at around 3.30 at the medical college. So we headed out to get lunch at the Chongqing Noodles shop, and walked down to get a #4 bus. It was nice out today - still cold, but not raining, and much more pleasant. Carol loved her noodles, although challenging managing them just with chopsticks and a spoon! But she got there! After eating, we got a bus back to the CBD, because we...Jump to full entry
Jan 30, 2018 - First day in Zhaoqing for Carol.
We slept pretty well, all things considered. Woke around 11am, and noticed that it was still a very cold day, with misty rain to accompany the cold!! We did wake very gently, but found we had no hot water for showering. Uh oh!! But too early to both with it!! We headed out around 12.30 and went around the corner to the dumpling shop for a snack for our brunch!! Carol was intrigued by the lion/dragon dance costume supplier at the corner. We had a nice lunch, and Carol was surprised by the fact that she could manage to eat the whole ten...Jump to full entry
Jan 29, 2018 - Well Carol is on the way!! Yippee!
Today I got myself packed up, ready to move to the hotel, and also prepared what I need to pack for our trip. Got to the hotel mid afternoon, checked in without too many difficulties, and settled in to relax. I could not get the kettle to work, could not work out how to tune in the TV, and needed two more pillows. Thankfully, before someone arrived to fix things, I worked out how to make the kettle work!! Duh!! Everything else was taken care of very efficiently. Around 5.30 I decided to go out for a walk, and got myself dumplings for...Jump to full entry
Jan 28, 2018 - Village wedding with Winnie and Liao.
What a wonderful day!! I was invited to go with Winnie and Liao to a wedding in the village where Liao grew up. It was a cold day, but when you know it is going to be cold, at least you can be prepared, and dress accordingly. Winnie messaged me just after 10 am to let me know they were on their way, so I headed down to the front gate. By the time we set off, it was probably about 10.30, an we headed out onto the expressway which goes to Wuzhou in the west, and to Guangzhou to the east. It was a pleasant drive, past mountains that were...Jump to full entry
Jan 27, 2018 - Lovely dinner with Luna, Nick and their family.
I was home all day, until it was time to go out and meet Luna and Nick for dinner. Not sure what the weather was today, but it was cold. According to my phone it was 16c, but it felt even colder. My day was spent getting work up to date on the computer, and uploading photos etc., and when that was all done, I did some more to my cross stitch. Luna's plan was to go to the Lamb Leg BBQ place, but she changed her mind. It is too cold to be outdoors, and she instead chose to meet at the Westerner Bull Bar. I had made a crochet rug for her baby...Jump to full entry