May. 6th, 2012

sarahblack: (Glam Rose)
I am safe in Nanjing! Right now I'm at the apartment of my couchsurfing host - his name is Ash - but earlier today I met with Halla, and I am going to meet her again tonight. But first I am going to go for drinks with Ash and another couchsurfer, an author called Jonathan Tel. Hopefully it will be fun! And it will be nice to get to know Ash a little bit since I am crashing at his place for a while.

Yesterday was amazing! I went to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall with a small tour group and took a boatload of pictures.



It was a beautiful day, hot and sunny but not too stifling. The mountains looked so green and lovely and the wall was just so majestic. I'm glad I'm still in pretty good shape, though. Otherwise the hike up and down all the stairs on the wall would have been murder!

After the hike my tour group received a big Chinese lunch at a nearby restaurant. I wasn't allergic to anything and everything was delicious! (So I basically at my own weight in food. I regret nothing!)

I met a Swiss guy (not St├ęphane Lambiel, sadly) on my tour who ended up going with me to see the Forbidden city after our tour of the wall finished. His name is Fritz and he's probably around my dad's age since he said that he has two daughters around my age. We saw the part of the Forbidden city which is always open because we were too late to get tickets to go inside properly. We also went to see Tiananmen Square and the zoo! (Pandas are super adorable y'all!)

We had dinner together in the Hutong neighbourhood of Beijing, which is an older part of the city. It is also clearly a very hip and happenin' place, since it was super crowded with young people, full of bars and restaurants and people selling this and that here and there. We got a fantastic pizza at 'Hutong Pizza' which is a place that was featured in a film called Beijing Bicycle. (Fritz read about it in his Lonely Planet guide book.)

Anyway, I'm so happy to have met up with Halla and to have found the place where I'll be sleeping. Ash actually came by Halla's place where I started out and drove me to his place on his motorbike! It was a short ride, but a lot of fun! The traffic in China is a little crazy, but you just get used to it.

One funny story before I log off - I was standing around with my bags at the bus stop where the airport bus had let me out, just waiting for Halla to come pick me up, when a couple of Chinese people came up to me and asked me to pose for pictures with them. I felt like I was famous or something! I think they just wanted to prove that they had met a funny foreigner with a cowboy hat and a big backpack. Definitely an interesting experience!

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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