Sunday, January 09, 2011


Arriving in Beijing as our final stop of the Vodka Train, back in June, it was both exciting to be in this much dreamed about city, and sad to be near the end of this totally incredible trip. The 7 of us, Belinda, Jess, Jonesy, Mark, Karl, Harris and I, had had such an amazing and enriching trip....and had such fun doing it!

Taken to our hostel by our Honcho, we discussed and plotted our last couple of days, before going our for dinner and the most delicious Peking duck ever. That night we met another Vodka Train group, preparing to head back the way we had just come, and we all trekked out to the bars along Lake Hou Hai.

The next morning was our Great Wall of China experience, before continuing the day with a tired, but awe-struck walk through the Forbidden City and then Tienanmen Square. Climbing to the top of the temple at the north of the City, we took in the smoggy view of Beijing, and the vast City complex of palaces, before walking through it. Arriving at the front of the City, and the Square, we took in this much famed space in the middle of the bustling city.

Heading our for our final big night together as a group, we found a bar strip in Old Street, where we could watch the second of Australia's World Cup matches. Soon ditching the over-priced beers on the main strip, and seeing another loss, Harris found us a little club where our night really kicked off.

After farewelling the Irish lads, who flew home the next morning, Belinda, Jess and I trekked out to see the Summer Palace. Although given the state of us, we are each lucky for camera-memories captured! We were out in the outskirts of the city, and thus, got to see blue sky for the first time in a couple of days, and take things very easy wondering around these grounds.

Back into town, and a final glimpse of Tienanmen Square, we met up with Harris at the hostel, and walked down to take in the weird and wonderful smells and sights of the Night Market.

We had a final dinner with Harris, to include Peking duck, before Belinda, Jess and I had a thwarted attempt to get the train to visit the Terracotta Warriors. Alas, missing the train by 3 minutes, we encountered our only real hiccup of the trip - and as experienced travellers, coped with it exceptionally well!

Having an overnight train booked, and then a flight from Xian, with the missing link we needed to investigate the options - but finding no trains for the rest of the night, and the offer of a standing train the next day, we returned to our original hostel, to the shock of Harris, to figure it all out the next day.

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