It’s a bad picture because I took it on my phone of my camera screen. But hey ho. Met Chairman Mao, the man who ruled China and started up the CCP. Loved and hated.
YESTERDAY: Monday 1st July
Just arrived at our hostel. And my god, the second half of the journey has been a bit crazy. Firstly the plane wasn’t as comfy and we could barely sleep, I was lacking so much sleep, from the ten minute doze I had I woke up telling louise we’ve got to find louise…. I don’t know why I woke so deranged. But anyway, at was the start of a very active day. We crawled off the plane and made it through customs and got our bags and decided to catch a bus to the city. This was our first adventure in this bustling capital. We’d looked at a map of where the route took us and we thought it’d be okay. To be honest, we had no idea where the hostel was and were hoping the address the air hostess wrote for us would work. But no.. We got off the stop that we intended and stood there for a minute, in the middle of these skyscrapers, cars roaring by and thinking: pants. With our makeshift map from the lonely planet guide we headed off in the direction I know the hostel was when I looked it up on Google many days before. We walked for quite a while and ended up going down this smaller street which had housing along it and not many people. Louise was panicking a bit but I cruelly made her plow on. We asked a girl to help but the address was not understandable. So we asked where the metro was and carried on. We asked two cab drivers but no hope. And kept going. Feeling as lost as ever. Though I was still hopeful.. We were in the middle of Beijing, the only westerners in sight, and wondering how on earth we were going to find our hostel.
There are some great people in Beijing, the first was this woman who saw us standing looking hopeless and trying to read a map and voluntarily helped us. She got out her phone to find the address and in the end she helped us get a cab who took us to the hostel. Thank the flipping lord. The Happy Dragon Hostel is really nice. We arrived and they were all really friendly. We’re in a room with two other people who have left today (Tuesday) who were lovely. Though the mattress is thin on the beds (my mum would hate it) it was surprisingly comfortable. We booked a trip to see the Great Wall on Tuesday and then decided we better see something before we run out of time for anything. So we ran off to the metro station and headed to Tiananmen Square. You would think this would be easy for two pretty smart girls but no, though the metro is like the London Tube, it has a light system that shows you the stations it will travel to. This confused us (me) greatly. We were on the right train but then I looked up at tube line map and thought for some ridiculous reason the green lights meant we’d visited them. So we got off and got back on the other train. On this one louise was adamant that Tiananmen Square was the next stop after one. (Tiananmen was two stops away from Dongdan which is where we originally got on) but by that point I’d realised my mistake. And we were back at Dongdan. Eventually we got there. And my my it is amazing. We also saw the Imperial Palace Temple which was awesome.
The architecture was amazing. I love it, I think it’s so beautiful. Another thing I found incredible is that we only saw two other western groups whilst we were there. At a massive popular place like Tiananmen, I’d expected to see more tourists but no. It’s crazy! I know there are so many Chinese people but.. Whoa. On our way back we had a little drama on the tube which was that Louise put our room key card in the ticket machine.. But it was okay. The woman got it back so phew. To finish off, we chilled in the hostel when we got back. We showered and ate dinner in the hostel. And happily crashed as soon as we lay down on our beds.
Tuesday is the Great Wall! Excited! But i have a feeling I should’ve done a lot more exercise before I came on this trip..