In Far Cathay

Tomorrow we set off for a “trip within a trip” to the not so frequently visited North East of China and so the last couple of days in Beijing have been spent organising our travel plans, catching up with sightseeing, catching up with each other and generally chilling out in a city so hot and stuffy the Europeans have almost abandoned it for the month.

So how did this come about? Well, Elisabeth and I may have been intently following each other’s travels to the more “interesting” parts of the world in recent years but we have not actually travelled together since 2010. A fact for which some of our friends and family seem to have been unreasonably grateful. Somehow a rendezvous in China was suggested and, notwithstanding the fact that each of us has travelled a third of the circumference of the Earth (from different directions) to get here, we have made it.

Neither of us had made detailed plans for the capital city, not actually having thought to find out what the other had already seen on previous visits but perhaps that was just as well. As it is, we have been able to photograph a couple of landmarks through the haze, devoured a few morsels of the treasures on view at the National Museum, taken a wildly overpriced rickshaw ride through one of the Hutongs (old neighbourhoods) and watched twelve smiling girls balance on one bicycle as it was being ridden round and round a small stage.

In our defence I should say that Elisabeth comes here at the end of a long trip through Japan where she has been has been studying the history of art forms so arcane as to be totally incomprehensible to most of the rest of us and I have just driven 1,700 miles across the British Isles with a co-pilot who was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Fond of him as I am.  If we skipped a few dynasties between the Warring States period and the Zhou in favour of a tower of muscular young men in spangly leotards, then we felt we had earned it.

The next bulletin may be delayed by a few days.

Categories: China, Far East

1 Comment

  • Sandy says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write.You are getting bolder and bolder about driving in other countries. More power to you!

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