The Last of Beijing and onto the Ship
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 3 of 14 › view all entries
I woke up feeling like I got hit by a truck! So much walking yesterday did a number on my aches and pains. I just donâ€™t travel as well as I used to! But no time to waste! I was up at around 7:00 and headed out to see the Forbidden City in the little time I had before I had to head to the train. I was there by 7:45 and found that it hadnâ€™t yet opened. So I waited with five hundred of my closest Chinese friends until 8. Even at that hour the crowds were out. I met a man from another part of China who spoke English and started a conversation with me. So we chatted for a little while until they opened the gates. Then the whole concept of personal space went out the window. I was herded along with the rest until it thinned out once inside. I took leave of my new friend and went to buy my ticket.
The Forbidden City was the center of rule for many centuries. It is completely walled in and surrounded by a moat. Everything is very elaborate with bright colors, intricate detail and gold trim. Once you get high enough up the various stairs, you can look out over a sea of roofs, all built with much the same architecture and dÃ©cor.
After my whirlwind tour, I walked back to the hotel, packed up and had the doorman hail a taxi for me. He didnâ€™t seem to be having much more luck than I did so I donâ€™t feel quite so inept! I went to the train station where I bought my ticket for the bullet train with a little help from some friendly Chinese man who spoke a bit of English. He saw only blank stares on the agentâ€™s face and a look of hopelessness on mine as I tried to ask for one ticket, first class on train C2275 to Tanguu.
I arrived at the port very early for boarding the ship and found that it was delayed. There had been an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous sailing so they were disinfecting the whole ship.
I wander the ship, stopping for some wine, looking at the spa (where I sign up for the thallasotherapy pool ï¿½ï¿½" a hot tub with sea water, extra bubbles and a limited number of visitors), find the internet cafÃ©, and chat with a few people.
I was slightly worried that the position of my cabin would exaggerate the movement of the ship but so far it has not. The seas were calm all night and I slept well. I had also heard that there is some engine noise and vibration in that location and there was a little. The noise was more like a ship sized white noise maker.
So I woke in the morning fairly refreshed about 6 am, turned on the TV to the channel that shows the sea off the bow of the ship, ordered room service for breakfast and ate while watching the ocean out the balcony doors. I would have eaten on the balcony but I think the temperature is somewhat less then freezing! We are scheduled to arrive in Dalian, China in an hour and I see land out ahead of the ship. The captain has just announced that he is pulling in the stabilizers and we will be rocking and rolling a bit for the rest of the trip into the harbor.