05.10.2012 - 07.10.2012 18 °C
Can't believe the trip is about to begin. Oddly before getting to Heathrow I had experienced a sort of butterflies in the stomach which I can only put down to the buzz and anticipation of taking on this mammoth trip. It was all easily reversed knowing that I was going to be reunited with Sarah. Before making our way to the airport I was able to have a good time with Mum before I left and it was really nice to be able to say goodbye at the gate before I left.
The trip from London Heathrow to Beijing was so easy. Would recommend Cathay Pacific having used their economy class. I even got a touch of luck when during my transfer flight I was asked if I could swap seats which ended up benefiting me because I had more leg room to sleep. Although I think I might of scarred the passenger next to me because during my sleep I fiercely kicked my leg out . Don't ask me what I was dreaming, maybe I was in a Kung fu film! ... To be honest since taking the malaria tablets my dreams have been far more intense than before.. (Which isn't the norm)
I stopped off at Hong Kong airport for my transfer and it was a beautiful scorching day and although I was in an air conditioned airport I was still excited that I would be travelling back through this ideally situated city where the natural and urban landscape have grown to compliment each other ( and that was only from looking out of the airport window!)
Getting to Beijing and casually walked towards customs and was impressed with the roof of the building, impressive to say the least. As I waited for my luggage I was getting more excited knowing that Sarah was only a half hour behind.
Then .....Disaster......our guide was not at the arrivals. Cue me under my breath cursing and panicking slightly that we would have to navigate to Beijing city centre.... I thought for a sec and then realised this is what it's all about let's just meet up with Sarah and deal with it then.
So standing by the arrivals I waited. I stood next to an airport official who took upon himself to start talking to me about how to say Good morning in English and Chinese which I humoured for a bit although I was shattered and it was not easy to feign interest. He then started chucking in football and Didier Drogba playing for Shanghai . It was time to move on... Luckily I did because I spotted a young guy with mine and Sarah's names written in big bold letters. ...cue my sigh of relief.
The young guy was our guide and his name was Jason (named by his English teacher I would later find out) and I was impressed by his fluency in English and we waited for Sarah whilst chatting about what the plans were. It wasn't long before Sarah strolled into view, and from then on I was just smiling all the way to the hostel.
The next day we slept till midday., got up , went for a walk , ate and met up with our group who were all really nice and friendly and we conversed about each others travel plans and backgrounds before heading to bed for what was going to be our first real experience of China..... Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City....Crazy!!
Check in soon for more tales....