China Blog Wednesday 21st october

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We were up early to take our bags downstairs and checkout. We have our day packs sorted for Xian and everything else will be left in the bus until they collect us on Saturday.

The bus took us part way to the Forbidden City but we had to evacuate ship half way there as the clutch burnt out! It’s not surprising given the volume of traffic in Beijing and the stop and start nature of every journey. We caught the tube to Tianenman Square and walked around  and then went into the Forbidden City.  It was really busy and quite a crush to get in and look around. We walked through the courtyards and stopped and had a hot chocolate. We walked to the end of the city – about a mile and then caught taxis to the Pearl Market. The Forbidden City was beautiful and the story of the Last Emperor really interesting. The students were really happy to spend some more money at the Pearl market – wallets, Beats headphones, sound boxes and phone covers seemed the most popular. Harry looks like a rapper!

The repaired bus picked us up from the market and took us to the station. The rush hour traffic was really thick but we got there in good time and managed to grab a traditional Chinese McDonalds at the station. We waited in our allotted waiting room and caught the train. Everyone was really excited to be sleepy on a train. Bradley said for a train enthusiast like him it was paradise! The lads eventually settled after some shenanigans but they all had a good sleep. It was great that they have got along so well with the Combe Pafford students.

We had some supplies for the train – the grown-ups have discovered a lovely sesame seed cracker snack. The students aren’t so keen.

The journey was comfortable and quiet compared to last year when the hooter went off every ten seconds!