Day 05 - Thr 20 Mar 08
Up early (for some reason) and out to see the White Cloud Temple, full of incense burners and little rooms with Buddha's in them. Almost killed on the metro while getting there with a new Olympic sport - Cur-bogganing. A cross between tobogganing and curling. The rink is the escalator on the Metro, and the idea is to throw a hard suitcase down the escalator and see how many people you can take out. The first I knew about this sport is when I head a heck of a noise behind me. I started running down the escalator but Phil turned and faced the enemy and managed to wedge the suitcase with his foot.
The old guy who let loose the projectile was very apologetic, but to add insult to almost injury the case was of course a piece of wheelie luggage - my personal pet hate!
I tried to book our next train ticket at the hotel but they couldn't do it, so headed off to Beijing West. A huge station with thousands of people, but no joy there either. It appears I can only book the train from Xi'an at Xi'an. So back to rendezvous with Alison who had headed off to see the Forbidden City, but felt a bit hungry so popped in to get something to eat on the way, and took the left overs in a bag for Alison.
Tried to get into see Chairman Mao but it had shut at 13:00 so missed out (again). Headed back to the hotel and got our stuff together and headed off to the station and our overnight train to Xi'an. Our carriage seems to be full of Westerners, a few independent travellers but most are on an intrepid travel tour. I chatted to a couple while washing my teeth just before bed.