Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
25Trip End Jul 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
While the greeting may seem rather strange it is rather apt due to the arrival of our American friend Jon. Even though he is from the plush planes of Cali-forn-i-a, America is America and so a more southern greeting is still more than suitable.
So last time the boys left the blog with a 18 hour sleeper train, but after an arduous 20.5 hours and a questionable braised beef pot noodle for breakfast (the noodles had an almost plasticky feel) they arrived in the warmer and more southern city of Nanjing. It was then that they hailed down the first cab driver in sight, and headed for the Sunflower Hostel. Unforntunately they couldn't put them up for the first night, so the lads ended up roughing it for the night, but dawn approached so quickly that it actually made for a pretty comfortable night. Nah, twas all in jest. On arrival the extremely helpful and generous staff quickly found the exhausted boys a hotel for the night, and put them up for the following two nights
The next day the boys awoke at 10am, ready to explore Nanjing's most famous attraction: The Purple Mountain. They may have got up slightly earlier if it wasn't for Stef quizzing Jon on American culture into the early hours of the morining. But he was more than satisfied, having finally discovered what a semester was. They caught bus number 2 and 40 minutes later, the boys had arrived into the wilderness, enjoying an abundance of trees and plants. It was there that they visited Dr Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum, he was some what of a Chinese guru, The Beamless Building(rather self-explanatory), Lingu temple and Lingu pagoda. The pagoda was a real highlight; an octagonal building which towered above the trees and provided a spectacular view of the National Park and a slightly hazy view of smoggy Nanjing. After some pretty dismal hacky playing, they left the park and headed for a dumpling restaurant, rather embarrased by the days performance. 50 dumplings, 30 kebabs and 2 chicken soups later the boys were bloated.
The last day in Nanjing saw the group experience what travelling is all about. The day started with a few tube stops to Xuwumen park, reknowned for it's lakes. It failed to disappointed and within 20 minutes the boys had hired a Chinese style motor boat and set sail
What followed was pretty average, but interestingly it wasn't the poor hacky playing that brought the boys some unwanted attention. A Chinese girl, after much deliberation with her associates, approached and rather cheekily asked Stef for his bracelet. AS IF! Astounded, Stef shook his head and the girl retreated sheepishly. Later that day a few members of the group visited Confucious Temple, while the others took a stroll once more over the blissful hutongs of Nanjing. In the temple Dan was back exhibiting his comical prowess, and what followed was some really entertaining video footage.
Now, however, it has come to the crux of the blog; the reason that the lads have enjoyed Nanjing so much... Not surprisingly it has been meeting Chinese people in the hostel, both the staff and fellow lodgers. We have been shown fantastic generosity and kindness here! From being shown to a nearby cheap hotel when they were full, to handing out snickers/sweets/ducks necks and hearts in the bar (which we dutifully devoured), they have stopped at nothing to accommodate us. The boys have thoroughly enjoyed playing uno and pool late into the early hours of the morning with the hostel workers and chatting about what life is like in China. We particulary enjoyed yesterday night, where they were taken out by a few friendly faces to a local restaurant and helped us order a plethora of sumptious local dishes
At 13:30 we leave for Huang Shan - widely regarded as THE scenic highlight of this land. It's a mountain. We're gonna climb it. Cause we're men!
Jon (It's a silent J)