So many people...
We took again the high speed train for our next journey, and this time from Shanghai to Beijing, it took us round about 5 hours. The train is similar like the German made ICE and has a top speed of 300km/h.
After we arrived in our hostel in Beijing we directly explored the area around our hotel, it´s located at the Hutong area. This area is famous for its small old houses and alleys. In the evening we went to the pedestrian zone and shopping area at Wangfujing. Amongst others you can find there exotic animals which the people eat…well, definitely not our taste…
The next day, it was on a shiny Sunday, I wanted to visit the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen square…well it was a nice try but it was impossible to get inside. You had to pass the security check and the crowd in front of it was so just too huge. A queue was not existing, everybody was pushing to get through the security check…definitely not the right place for someone who has Claustrophobia. After standing for about 15 Minutes and not moving at all I decided to give it up and went to the Lama, Confucius and Heavens temple, which by the way is really worth to see.
On the following day we took a public bus to visit the Great wall at Mutianyu and to go hiking. From Beijing this location is about 90km in the north. When we arrived there we decided to walk up to the wall. The rise was very tiring, when we arrived on top of the wall we both were wet from sweating. Unfortunately the sky was not bright, it was foggy and therefore the pictures we took was grey and hazy. The wall itself is really impressive, very massive and high positioned. Unbelievable for the people who built it, so high on the mountains and over 8000km long, what a torture.
On the day before the last day in Beijing I finally could visited the Forbidden City. The crowd was less but still so many people around, I have the feeling that this the standard in China wherever you go. Unfortunately it was raining so heavy on that day, I skimped on taking pictures, you couldn´t really see a lot, just a huge amount of people using colourful umbrellas.
In Beijing we also went to some nice dinner places, amongst others the famous Beijing duck and Dim Sum dumplings. The skin and filet of the Beijing duck is traditionally served with a thin dough, cucumber, leek and Hoisin sauce. You roll everything in the thin dough and eat it, really delicious, please have a look for the pictures at Merys food corner.
Until yet, our journey in China was quite stressful, the people in the city are very impatient, not always helpful, without speaking Chinese, you can get lost here. You need a lot of time and patient if you visit China and do the trip on your own. People who get used to live in a very clean area will definitely have problem here, the public toilets are really in a bad conditions. When you walk through the small streets you often smells the toilet smell or the stinky tofu or even both…somehow I cannot differ those smell. On the other hand it is also very interesting to see the people, it happens so much in the daily grind, for example conflicts in the subway, traffic accidents, etc.
But there are also positive things which I would like to tell you ;-)
For example all the electric scooters and mopeds. The standard bicycle is almost not present anymore, they all drive electric, also very old transport bicycles. They just adapt in their vehicle an electric motor and a rechargeable battery pack and then it´s ready to be used. Just imagine how polluted the air would be and the noise when they all would still use the old petrol engine.
Today we are travelling to Xi An to see the terracotta army. We will keep you updated.