That’s us arrived in Beijing after our 31 hour sleeper train from Ulanbataar. The journey was quite good apart from the carriage being a bit hot and stuffy. We had an English speaking Mongolian guy in our carriage so it was very easy going, especially as he spent a lot of time in the carriage next door with his family, but we managed to have a few chats as well.
In amazing coincidence we managed to do a book swap with the first couple in the UB hostel I asked, and they had exactly the book we were both desperate to get our hands on, so I handed over a ripped up, well read copy of a Danny Wallace book and got “The Girl Who Played With Fire : Millenium II” by Steig Larsson (thanks Fiona for giving Ciara the first one! We’re hooked!!). We’re off to the English bookshop in Bejing to find the next one, sorry I mean we’re about to head round all the tourist sites etc etc etc.
Anyway, that’s us finally in China. It felt a bit bizarre arriving in Beijing – the first really built up city which has all the modern stuff in it in our whole trip. Since crossing the border it’s been built up a lot of the way, and there’s been a pollution type smog (sorry I’m sure the Chinese will call it a “heat haze”) in the air.
We’re looking forward to exploring the sites, wacky markets, eating good food, finally getting Ciara to visit the Great Wall (a few months later than initially planned as some of you will know), and maybe buying the odd thing or two (although that will involve getting another bag so we’ll probably leave it!). We’re at Qianmen Hostel for a few nights until we move on. The shops outside the hostel even have more than just sweets, beer, vodka and biscuits which is the normal stock of your average Mongolian shop! (a slight exaggeration!).