Sunday, 10 March 2013

Days 84-85 Pingyao

Another night train. 11pm departure / 7am arrival. A bitterly cold early morning arrival to a fantastic walled city - Pingyao.

We took bone rattling, breezy auto-rickshaws to our hostel, again first rate; Chang Jia Lao Yuan Hostel for the Aged. (Yep, that's right. But no aged folk to be seen.)

The Kangs (heated stone beds) were big enough for the family, Lee luxuriated in her own.
After a morning of home schooling, we headed out to explore this ancient city. It is another shining example of the depth of Chinese history. Full of visual interest. Endless lane ways and courtyards inviting you to enter.

And you just can't get bored of the variety of food on offer.

And, some of the local favourites...You face stick in stick in...The ancient city of small wild plants...Flying beef surface.

(We must admit we didn't see any of this 'Chinglish' in Beijing.)
In the afternoon, Helen and Tom walked along the top of the city wall. Shane and Rosie explored along the base.
Lee chose to cut the afternoon explorations short, but has been a star performer in terms of keeping up with the walking.

Finding evidence of some pretty ancient cart tracks! And a bunch of other great stuff.

We've all heard about the Chinese being rude, indifferent and pushy. We've encountered the opposite almost without exception. Their indifference appearing to stem from fear of being confronted with having to speak other than their mother tongue.
The following morning was a prime example. Shane and Lee ventured out to the post office for Lee to post a mere 5kg of her clothing on to the UK. It all went well, to a point.
The hitch was that they had only enough cash for the postage, couldn't use a credit card, and the local ATM wouldn't accept Lee's card. They urgently needed to get back for the train and had no cash for a taxi back to the hotel.
The charming woman that assisted them then organised a van and driver to take them to an ATM and then drive them back to the hotel!

Shane, Helen, Rosie, Tom and Lee

Location:Ulan Bator,Mongolia

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