After an horrible night in the plane (who can sleep sitting in a plane ?), I woke up above what I believe to be Mongolia. From the sky, i could see no-ending lanscapes covered by snow, some were high moutains, others seemed to be small hills... if only i could have stopped the plane there for a walk in the snow *sight*
Later the snow disappeared and we were flying above some new landscapes covered by sand... totally different, but it's incredible to see such vast spaces with (almost) nobody : i saw some small houses in the desert, near rivers or roads, but no human trace in the snowy region.
To officially end the night, we got a yummy breakfast (pictures will come soon) with a wonderful view on China... where do i have to sign up to get that everyday ?
A bit later, we landed in Beijing and the real adventure began. It's certainly due to the Olympic Games, but their airport is wonderful (so much nicer than terminal 1 in Paris CDG) : a modern architecture the roof is very high, with very high white colums, open spaces... once you get there, you have the feeling that you arrived in a modern country. Everything in the airport is written both in Chinese and in English, a modern train transfers you from one terminal to another to get your luggage, then you take the new metro line to the center of the town... this was the olys effect... now once you are in Beijing, you have to face the cruel the reality of everyday life : at the metro station, the people paid to help passengers get the tickets do speak Chinese and no other language... a good start for all the jet-lagged tourists arriving from the airport.
I must admit that I noticed a real effort inside the metro to help the tourists : all the names of the stations are written in Chinese and with Latin characters, and a sweet voice inside the trains tell you where you are, what the next stop... if you get lost there, it's only because you don't know where you want to go to.
Then, my favorite part of the day : the game "find your hotel". I had the great idea to print out a google map
showing the hotel... i went there and... no hotel !
In the series "i have tested for you...", we have:
- if you're lost in Beijing, never waste your time asking your way to people over 25, they don't speak English - many are not even able to read a map with our characters.
- if a taxi tells you he knows where your hotel is, look at his face when he answers, and if you see any doubt in his eyes, immediately phone your hotel to explain him the road he has to follow... and you won't turn again and again in the same streets, in the middle of the traffic jam.
Well, after all this, I arrived at my hotel and I sooooo tired i think I'm gonna test my bed (this was just a test to see if the wifi connection was working)