Last year I had already the pleasure to visit Beijing and more so to visit our friend Babsi and stay at her comfortable place in a Hutong. This year I didn’t travel there alone but flew (I can really recommend Turkish Airlines for traveling, competitive prices, great service and together with my steadfast travel companion and friend Sylvia.
Arriving in Beijing is first of all impressive. Look at the dimensions of these halls. Just imagine though waiting here in a full hall to get your passport checked. It wasn’t that bad for us but it did take a while. The Chinese are nothing but thorough.
Best surprise of all was that Babsi picked us up from the airport and with the express train and the metro we rode into town. Already the smell on the train made me realize that we were back in China.
After a quick shower and saying hello to the cats (three days of allergy tablets so that Momo can walk all over me) we walked to an excellent Yunnan restaurant where we tried a couple of different dishes.
Afterwards we went in search of a bar and walked for miles around the Hutong. We saw the Bell Tower in the dark with people dancing around it. Not in tribal style but in the usual fashion of dancing together like it’s a dance class in your local gym.
We eventually found a small roof top restaurant that served drinks as well, had one drink and then went home again. By the time we arrived at home I was amazed that Babsi really spoke Chinese (at least enough to get us food and drinks with only one little slip-up -> one of the Yunnan dishes was tripe which didn’t go down well with vegetarian/vegan crowd), that she knew the way in this maze of little streets and that I could still walk upright after being up for countless hours.
We had a new adventure ahead of us, for two weeks we would tour the Silk Road of China and then later cross into Kyrgyzstan. As you can imagine we were excited and ready to get started. Yours, Pollybert