Hangzhou to Xiamen
05.01.2011 - 09.01.2011 14 °C
Today I woke up in a much friendlier climate than yesterday! It’s 16 degrees here in Xiamen and I'm delighted to be out of the cold! Since the last time I placed a post we have travelled from Nanjing to Hangzhou by bus and then from Hangzhou to Xiamen by train. The first full day we spend in Hangzhou we were busy arranging the travel tickets and hostel. We had just a little time left at the end of the day so we visited the supposedly vibrant Silk Road, which turned out to be a deserted street with some lanterns. Fortunately the next day in Hangzhou was more successful, we walked a bit around the West Lake, a huge scenic area around town, viewed the beautiful Leifing Pagoda on a hill near the lake and visited the Jinci Buddhist Temple. I never knew Buddhist religious sites were so elaborately decorated; it was very colourful and many of the statues were gold. Everywhere there were urns with incense burning and in the middle building someone was singing mantras. From the top temple you had a nice view over the lake, the city, and the hills. Afterwards we went to Silk Museum on the way back, but as Marije was not feeling so well we headed back to the hostel after buying some food at the large Carrefour supermarket. We ate half a baguette with tomatoes and pepper, which was very nice after all the rice and noodles! Me and Marije both picked up a cold in Nanjing and we're both still a bit sick. Fortunately we're out of the cold now at least!
Yesterday we took a six hour train drive and arrived here at four o'clock. The train stopped at the Northern station, which was not on the main island of Xiamen (pronounce: Sjamen). So we had to wait and hour or so before we could get on the next train to the island. After taking a bus and finding the hostel we went to the supermarket nearby and I had a dish of rice with
vegetables and eggs. I show the owners my paper stating I would like 'fried rice with vegetables' and that I'm a vegetarian. This usually gets you what you want! But not always! One time in Nanjing I got something with beef anyway (maybe he couldn't read) and when we tried to use gestures to make clear I did not want to eat it, he brought me a spoon! Which was hilarious, so I just sort of ate around the beef. I reckon we'll try to book a bus ticket to Guangzhou today, so we can leave tomorrow. Hopefully, we can couchsurf then, to save some money and get a different perspective. I'll keep you posted.