What a beautiful day in china

To discover … the famous marble boat. One of the quirks of the Empress Cixi, it was still a tea of course, curious enough to be worth a look

 

Note that already this side of the site, tourists are less likely to venture. Lack of time or energy to those who turn back too soon, the summer palace here finds its peace and magic when the twilight announcement. Since the marble boat, we continued our tour, which turned into ascension. In one building, you find yourself alone to ask before the red walls, admire the detail of carved roofs, and enjoy the view at sunset … breathe …

 

Then it’s downhill … It seems to leave the sky and serenity …

To return to the human world … with a lot of problems in transportation. You will indeed surely not be surprised if I tell you that on our return, we took a bus 332 which in reality was not one … and it took me, once the problem is identified, improvise way back by bus to the center of Beijing in the cold and fatigue. The sleep that followed was very welcome!

My travel to beijing

Then suddenly, enlightenment, when, as we were probably taking pictures “artistic” we say, we see one of the openings by people walking on the water … frozen lake, a lake immense, stretching out of sight and dazzles us.

We will walk a long time around the lake and get to the point where we can as we try to walk on the ice of Lake Kunming (officially banned but tolerated obviously) youhou, attention sliding!

From here we then take the full measure of the size of the place … it is clear we can not go around today.

 

After wiping our feet on the ice, we move away from the entrance increasingly bypassing the lake to get closer to the South Island connected to the mainland by bridge with 17 arches. We are in the midst of 220 acres of lake and we still have so much to see on the other side! Quickly we retrace our steps to find out what we initially neglected, and we have now seen far from the island.

 

We therefore reverse the path, and we extend our road and along the famous covered porch, to get in front of a palace that we hoped to visit but which turns out to be closed. At least this station has enabled us to regain some strength, one can find snacks and re-energize after long walks around the lake, especially when the sun already pale begins to decline. Let me tell you at this stage of the tour we were really tired, but Sandrine and break snacks have managed to motivate me to continue always visit along the lake …

Beijing the beautiful

Arrived at the zoo, … And it is no different where the 332??? Among the many stations at the entrance of the zoo, none mentioned line 332. So, always desperate, I come to ask my Chinese to a group of police officers or guards, short of men in uniform we say ANY STATION IS 332?? I then explained that we need to cross the boulevard and then I’ll find her. And yes, we found it, but hey, we still got there we had to realize that there was a bus station on this side (because of course the usual bus station did not see either pass 332 ) and then search for the 332. Finally we are installed. Is it worth the Summer Palace …

When we finally get there, (ie at the other end of the bus line 332), it is already mid-day. Fortunately we had planned snacks, because the day will be long
So it is with our tickets in hand and a packet of crisps in the arm that we are taking the entrance, and we are far from being the only …

 
A huge site
Indeed, the Summer Palace, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, sees through each year more than 6 million visitors. And if Backpacker offers 3 hour tour, you say that you do not have time to see everything, or so on the run.

290 hectares, 3,000 buildings and 420,000 trees, not to mention the longest covered gallery in the world (728 meters) all serviced by 1,700 employees, it may take a little time to go around!

The Summer Palace, as it was the residence of the Empress Cixi, obviously has its share of palace, but everyone will understand very quickly that it was mostly a place of pleasure, as despite the cold, we have found only outside.
Our first steps will lead us to the rows of courtyards well known, these buildings that house in that the tourist shops. It also recognizes geometric shapes crossings between different parts of the gardens imitate human Sandrine Da Vinci …

Beijing city ah ah

After visiting the Forbidden City yesterday, we remain in gigantism in February 11 very cool that we are totally dedicated to visit the Summer Palace, winter version!

After our first full day, for the second day of the visit was difficult awakening. Program: visit the Summer Palace.
 

The first test will be to get there.
For the Summer Palace is 20 km north-west of Beijing. For us, no question of taking a taxi. In true backpackers we are, we start with our Rough Guide (and some cakes) in the bag to read and follow the directions necessary for our journey.

No problem for the metro, we go into effect at Xizhimen station, the station most northwestern Beijing, and we hope to find a station for bus No. 335 for us to go directly to the Summer Palace.
Except that, to the subway exit, no indication for any bus 335 … We’ll it on the back of the seniority (2002) guide, and then we’re all happy to find an indication for line 332 which was also announced by the guide but leaving the zoo is not really in the corner. Well no matter, we start looking for the famous resort.

And the quest was long. First attempts at tracking once out of the subway, no bus station in sight, by informing us from passers we end up finding but obviously none for the 332, and of course no workable plan bus in the corner. At the intuition then we wander randomly some time before falling to a new series of bus stations. Finally, helpless, I finally explain our case to a lady at one of the stations I want to go to the summer palace … And then other Chinese who listened to me tell me that I can take the 105 to go up at the zoo and then catch a 332. Bah good way to the zoo.

Beijing Here we are

First day of the lunar year, so it’s the Chinese New Year, our train leaves at 19h28.

17:15, we leave the apartment, and say we will not schlep if you want to have time to go to the Shanghai Railway Station, which is on the other side of the city, in perspective: if you are lucky a small 5 kuai cab to the metro station Dongchuan, then line up 5 Xinzhuang Line 1 and finally to the station, at the lowest transportation … 1:40

When we go out, it’s raining … and of course everything is dead, forcing new year, no small cab on the horizon … 15 minutes of walking in the rain to the station with our luggage we delight little …
Fortunately, a real taxi area of ​​Minhang looms on the horizon. This is unexpected, and it’s even better than a cab, it will drop us off at Xinzhuang station directly, a little less stress

Finally, a little over an hour transit later, we arrive at the station. Soon we identify the waiting for our train, Z8 7:28 p.m.. Rows of seats “leather” on which whole families waiting patiently nibbling around tables, more comfortable than the common halls of the station and especially it’s hot! happiness

 

Shortly before 19h, the display indicates the beginning of the composting our tickets online. We can access the dock and board!
Time to capture the moment with Sandrine
and some misdirection and outside-inside-car later, we forget the rain in Shanghai to find our compartment and we install.

 

The compartment is small but comfortable. 4 berths, 2 by 2, each with two pillows and a duvet, a small table with hot water in a thermos, small bin, slippers and travel kit toothbrush, and heating! (Bis happiness!). A vertical space to store luggage and advanced control lights, radio, etc.. Not to mention the toilet, choice of Turkish or Western (bliss). In the hallway, folding seats can ask to discover its neighbors.

I had realized that the ticket was more expensive for the bunk below, plausible explanation: the bunk below is a more spacious chouille height, it has a direct access to the table, we can see through the window ( great night …) and especially was not to climb the removable footboard to climb on the couch, we almost forget that the Chinese are very good acrobats:]

 

Casually it has good comfort:]

What we like least is to discover that our roommates are nothing less than a young couple and their baby … …
And yes, when we know that we are about to spend 12 hours by train, with roughly 95% of the overnight trip, we think we can sleep … ERROR.

If we were pleasantly surprised to receive free (included in the ticket of course, well, we keep our instant noodles for later) our “meal tray” consisting of a soup, a hot dish, bread and a dessert night, it was much less pleasant.

 
But hey, it did not prevent them to arrive a little before 7:30 am in Beijing and be entered soon as we left the car by the fresh air characteristic of this time of year, but especially delighted to discover Above our heads a cloudless blue sky and the sun, the sun!

All ragaillardies, we hasten out of the Beijing Railway Station, in front of busy city invites us instant immortalization bis, we tend Beijing you arms … so HERE WE COME!

Travel to Beijing

First leg of the trip to Beijing by train.

And yes, you have to start by visiting the famous capital and with dimensions of China, this is not a trivial matter:]

So I decided to take the train to make us Shanghai to Beijing. Slightly cheaper than aircraft, especially in the sense Shanghai-Beijing railway in China is also an experience in itself.

It had already begun when purchasing tickets.
After the galleys No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, so we managed last February 6 at the counter to buy Minhang our return tickets in two berths.

In fact, as we already had to take place in soft sleeper, I wanted to take back to experience the hard sleeper, which is said that comfort is identical to their cousins ​​soft intimacy less (compartments 6 and not shared 4, and no door) and are significantly less expensive.
However, it made ​​me realize that it was impossible for me to get to this point such places. I already felt happy to have 2 places back in the Beijing-Shanghai sense when we know that in general you can not buy train tickets departing in the city where you are, I do not insist not …

A small remark nevertheless, Beijing-Shanghai cost us 50 RMB more per ticket than Shanghai and Beijing for the same category of comfort and train, issue date, meaning? I did not explain it yet …

Anyway, that’s it, we’re ready.

Beijing Beijing

If the items have become more rare these days, it’s not laziness … not with Sandrine, my cousin just arrived from France, we went to spend 6 days in Beijing, during the holidays Chinese New Year!

So, I come back with tons of things to say about our findings of the high places of culture and Chinese history, our culinary experiences and other adventures experienced throughout this small fashion week in Beijing

So with this article I inaugurate the Beijing chapter by Céline and Sandrine. Look good! Because it will somehow interactive summary of our adventures, and As the days approach, you can click on new links that will take you one by one to the stories of our exploits in the Chinese capital.

So wrap up warm (Beijing in February this clip!) And follow us:]

Céline and Sandrine, the two cousins ​​in China, Beijing,
it’s here!