Completed the last leg of the Trans-siberian！ It was an experience, the trip from UB to Beijing was short compared to the last leg - Chinese passport control was tedious as I expected, but the change from the Russian railway guage to the Chinese one was pretty interesting. They took our passports to check our visas then the whole train was taken into a huge shed. The carriages were split up - the whole carriage, with us inside it was lifted up on a winch thing and the new wheels were put on - it was really interesting to watch and as they had us in three rows, you got a good view of the next carriage being lifted and wheels changed - you werent supposed to take photos, but everyone else was so I just joined in! The whole operation was very slick but think they do it on an almost daily basis, so guess they get plenty of practice. The Chinese army invaded the train and shouted orders at us in Chinese, which I just assumed mean STAY IN YOUR CABIN!! - I was so scared at the female chinese soldier who took my passport I actually saluted back (!) not sure why ...:) Anyway, I am certainly learning patience from this trip!. I shared my cabin with a 24 year old hippie looking German musician who was travelling round - he entertained me and the other passengers by playing Beatles songs on his guitar - the ones when they were in their 'peace man' mode of the early 70s... was a weird thing for a 24 year old to like but it takes all sorts! The rest of my tour were first class for this trip, but I met heaps of people, a couple of Swedes, a Belgian, French as well as millions of Germans - they certainly get around. They all spoke embarrassingly good English although I wondered if the last one I talked to in Siberia was related to the someone from the Third Reich, they are certainly not all like that. The musician was about 6 ft 4, but told me he was a little bit scared when they were moving our carriage to the Chinese guage - aw bless.....:). We arrived in Beijing and to my disappointment no wi fi, so I am spending what is probably about a million pounds to update my blog - Im here for a week, so no internet and only tv from the Peoples Republic of China to keep me amused!
Visited the Temple of Heaven and Tianamen Square, (I know that spelling is wrong, but my time is running out） and I decided to leave the group as they were going to the Forbidden City, which I want to do on my own as I have lots of time. Im feeling pretty great as I managed to find my way back to the hotel on foot by my map ( a 40 minute walk) - only Erlend and my kids will know how brilliant that is for me - map reading is not one of my talents!!
Getting looks from the receptionist, so I will finish now. Going to an acrobatic show tonight, then tomorrow is the Great Wall!!
Zaijain (thats goodbye in Chinese:) xxx