Not bad considering we went through a lot of turbulence. Was out of the airport at 9:00 am because the airport is – in a word – massive. It’s really really big – you need to take a train to get to the baggage claim area. The airport is very sleek as well.
Beijing’s Massive Airport
Entrance to the Train Station
Typical Beijing Bus
Took the shuttle then the bus to the backpackers lodge. It wasn’t that hard to find though I think I got off one (or two) stops too early, and I also walked the wrong way (hihihi). Pero di bale, I found it in the end.
After I checked in, I walked down the hutong’s alleys and took pictures of almost everything. I say almost kasi I had to stop myself. There were so many interesting buildings or carvings that if I took pictures of them all, I’d die.
So, I went off to look for a sim card and a supermarket. I found the shop where they sell simcards and goodluck na lang! Kahirap to communicate! No one spoke English so I think I spent about an hour there just trying to buy a sim card and top-up. Afterwards, I went to the supermarket to stock up on food. I wanted to buy bread and perhaps, peanut butter and some de-lata – pero naman! I’m in the land of Ma-Ling yet I could not find one single ma-ling can around, plus they didn’t have sliced bread! I bought shampoo and soap and a big jug of water na lang.
When I got to the counter, they didn’t have plastic bags! So Sige, may-i-siksik sa camera bag kaya lumala ang scolio ko. I planned to go back to the lodge to put down my things pero … medyo malayo so I opted to go ahead and check out the drum and bell towers. Buti na lang I did that kasi nakakita ako ng convenient store and they had bread and strawberry jam! Lunch and Dinner forever! I bought a bag as well so that I can distribute the weight evenly (camera on the left side of the body, groceries on the left). I then went to see the Drum Tower but before that … lunch.
@ The Drum and Bell Tower
Kelangan ata kasing tangkad mo si Yao Ming para di ka mahirapan pumanik ng stairs. I was taught in school that risers should be 0.15 to 0.20mm max and treads are at least 0.30. Dito, both riser and tread are at least 0.30mm. Mid leg (sa shin) ang taas ng step and super duper steep! PLUS MADULAS! Good luck na lang kay lola with the camera and the bag of groceries (me).
Selfie by the Drums
Selfie in front of the steep and slippery flight of stairs
Selfie by the Bells
Pardon the selfies – I was a solo traveler – if I don’t take selfies I won’t have photos!
After exploring the two towers (and being lucky enough not to fall), sabi ko uwi na ako – but I was side tracked by a nice street (don’t know the name). Lots of shops around and very quaint. Took photos but I gave up after that. I went back to the lodge to rest and plan the rest of my week … and to BATHE! I am so nanlilimahid.
Here are some of the stuff I wrote in my travel diary. I’ll probably share more of these in the next few days, just because… it’s nice to remember. AND I trawled through my hard-drive to include some photos too.
24 october 8:30 pm (Akl Airport)
Finally off to China! I’ll be boarding the plane in 2 hours and then I’ll be on my way. Mum and BK (& Saffron) dropped me off at the airport earlier and we were quite surprised because the queues weren’t long. We expected heavy traffic and long lines because it’s the start of ta long weekend but it was quiet. I asked the ground crew about it and he said that we just missed the rush.
Last month, on the 25th of May, I called in sick due to the sniffles (which is still bugging me 2 1/2 weeks later). While I was snuggled up like a bug in bed, hoping for the sniffles to disappear, my mobile phone rang. It was a private number and I immediately knew that it was Westpac. You see, I just changed banks a few weeks back and the only “Private Number” calls I receive are from Westpac. I picked up the phone, silently wondering if I had forgotten to sign papers and needed to pop in a branch immediately to sort things out. I was relieved when it was not KW (the lady I usually deal with), but … someone else. Our conversation went something like this …
A&P, the couple whose wedding photos I took about a year ago, were in Windy Wellington for a flying visit this weekend (7-9 April). They arrived on Thursday night to a typical Wellington Welcome (the usual .. wobbly plane due to strong winds), did their thing on Friday, and then on Saturday … we went to the Southward Car Museum near Otaihanga. I’ve heard of this place, but I haven’t been so I was pretty excited about going.
We drove on SH1 for about an hour and turned off towards Otaihanga and then made a hard left to enter the museum compound and I was quite surprised at the size of the compound. The parking lot was quite huge and the building itself looked quite imposing. We parked the car, rocked up and paid the $17.00 admission fee (price per adult as at 2016, may change without prior notice) and proceeded to the main galleries to admire this world class collection of cars, not just from New Zealand but from all over the world.
Here are a few of the vehicles that caught my eye:
No back-seat drivers here!
Gangster Car (complete with bullet holes)
A really old car
“Back to the Future”
A Maybach (I ♥)
Back when you had ample leg room in cars
But it’s not all cars … there were planes, a couple of boats, a section that showed a lot of miniature toy cars, motorbikes, push bikes, and even a little room devoted to sewing machines and other household appliances.
It’s really worth the trip (and the admission fee) so if you’re in Wellington include the Southward Car Museum in the list of places you must visit.
Come and see the beautiful centuries-old churches at Ilocos
The following photos (and a bit of text) are about the various churches we were able to visit while we were at Ilocos. These churches, all built during the time the country was still under Spanish rule, were built in the Earthquake Baroque style.
Nestled at the top end of Cuba Street is a quaint little restaurant called Arthur’s. For those not in the know, Arthur’s is the more masculine equivalent of the very feminine Martha’s Pantry (which I wrote a short blog post on about a year – or two ago). I have been to Arthur’s twice since I moved to Wellington and loved my experience there on both occasions. However, even though I keep telling myself to return and have a meal again, I never really got to it – at least not until this evening.