Emperor's Guard Station Courtyard Hotel
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... floor) were workmen and cleaners. So that in itself was an adventure. Bet they were all thinking "silly foreigners". This was the latest we'd ever walked through the city- everywhere apart from the 7-11 was closed and the the streets were now home to the homeless and the neighbourhood crazy man- who's very nice. We didn't feel scared or threatened but coming back into the friendly 161 hostel was lovely. So another day...tomorrow we have a choice...I wonder where we will end ...
... we were not being let in now we had very little chance of getting in before running out of time and needing to return before winter set in. Saddened and dismayed we retreated back to the border town and made plans to return to Italy without the silk and porcelain we had been expecting to take back we would have to chart a new route so that we may still bring some kind of profit from the trip.
... example, they are ranked 133 out of 177 countries in the 2013 Corruption Perception Index. On a scale of 0 (corrupt) to 100 (clean) they score 23 (http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/re sults/#myAnchor1).
Another activity I filled my time with was skiing, of all things. The Mall of the Emirates has a 150m or so ski run in essentially a shed perched atop the mall. On the glacially slow chair lift the first time up I met a business analyst South African who was also on ...
... take the over suggested cable car we decided to hike up; one, because we are cheap and two, we didn't want to miss a single scenic shot. This stretch of the Wall spans over former Mongolian territory and China and is divided in two sections. The first section was restored in the 80's and the second section is still in its original form. Of course as the hawkers ...
... he saw 5 of us plus 4 cases ans 5 backpacks - to fit into a standard saloon! After much pushing and shoving and heaving and groaning (by Peter who was determined they would fit!) as the driver looked on in awe we were off! It was hit and miss that we would catch our flight as it was nose to tail traffic 5pm Beijing time.
2 hour flight to Xi'an with China Eastern Airways. Good quality and very professional. Thought all our luggage had disappeared as we stood by ...