If you are catching up on the blog and need to skip a day here and there, this is one to skip, we got a 7 hour train, sweated, went to bed. Food and beer were involved.
If you are still wanting more or have time to spare at work (!!!) then I will elaborate.
We left our lovely room and painted sink at 7.45. Walked through Hangzhou early morning rush hour, past mums and dads taking kids to school, butchers and veg shops doing brisk trade and the ever busy Muslim bread shop’s queue of loyal customers spilling out on the street.
It was a lovely 14 degrees.
We got to Hangzhou train station and admired it. On the walk to the waiting area you could buy a new car, perfume, flowers and very posh looking stuff from teeny boutique shops. No 7/11 for water though.
Train was on time, we boarded, sat in our seats, no one else tried to get in our seats or tell us we were in their seats so it was successful.
It was a 7 hour train which we used the time to read and blog, write diary etc.
Breakfast was Taiwanese dumplings with outrageously hot chilli sauce, delicious.
Pot noodles were had at 12.45, after everyone else in the carriage who had theirs about 11.15.
We watched the temperature readings get higher and higher. When we got off it read 29 degrees. There was no indication of the soaring humidity. We were drenched in 5 mins of lugging backpacks.
We already knew we were getting into a train station 25km north of Xiaman, so knew we needed to either get a bus (recommended by our hostel) or train then 2km walk. As we have no idea where to get off a bus we opted for train. So got off our Xiaman North train, left station, queued at ticket office for tickets, queued for security checks (actually we were Chinese and skipped the queue for this, just looked hassled and pushed in), queued in waiting area for train, got on train and got to Xiamen (proper) station.
It was now dark but still 29 degrees and humid. A 2 km walk down a street passing Tesco, Esso, MosBurger (Japanese burger chain) and many restaurants with plastic stools and people drinking cold, cold Tsingtao.
We were excited, the thought of a cold beer and hot food kept us going. We nearly walked past the hostel, but trained observer Guy, saw the teeny sign and we went to reception, dripped sweat and got our room key (not before we had been shown the rules of the hostel, all in chinese, even the WiFi pass code).
Room was light, and had air con! How posh are we??
We went straight out on the hunt for food and beer. We found a lovely restaurant and ordered lion head meat balls (no lion meat was involved), spring rolls, sea cabbage (seaweed) salad, pickled cucumber, fried chickpeas, taro balls and a never ending portion of rice, oh and 2 (maybe 3) large beers.
It was like a Chinese tapas meal. Brilliant. All for £6.50.
Full we made our way home, maybe got a couple more beers just to cool down in our room, and relaxed watching basketball and figure skating on channel 5.