Bottle opener

Shanghai, 3 C, clear with chilly wind, GMT +8 I apologise if I have misled you with the name of this post, as it refers to the nickname for the Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC) rather than any beer drinking paraphernalia. You can understand why when you see the design of this building (above centre) by the architect Kohn Pederson Fox. Last night I could feel my hotel (the Pudong Shangri-La) vibrate slightly in the strong gusts of wind. When I spoke to the concierge at breakfast, he said that this is normal, and that’s why there are no lights […]

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Distance covered so far: 12,430 km, distance to go: 30 km, 3C, GMT +8. G15 High Speed Train, Beijing South – Shanghai Hongqiao Sad to be leaving the Kerry, but up early for my journey to Shanghai. In the Shangri-La way, everything was a whir of efficiency at check out and I was soon deposited in a wifi enabled car and accompanied by Chris, the hotel concierge. I discovered on the short journey to the station that this blog is actually blocked in China, but the hotel route their internet via Hong Kong, so as a result I have had […]

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Peking duck

Distance so far: 11,112 km, distance to go: 1,318 km. -10 C, dry & sunny. I know you don’t need a “tourist diary” from me in Beijing, but I do have a couple of updates as I down tools (or should that be “trains”?) for Christmas. First of all, for the record, my Christmas dinner – a rather special whole duck carefully prepared at Da Dong, suppliers of the best Peking duck in the city. (No Christmas pudding, but you can’t have everything!). Leaving the train and getting back into civilised living is an odd experience. Once I left the […]

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Distance so far: 11112 km, -10 C, sunny, GMT +8 Another good night’s sleep – I woke to the feeling of the brakes and fearing a “Crazy Ivan” as we pulled into Datong, our penultimate stop (bang on time). Not much to see on the platform or indeed the station, which was devoid of human life apart from of course about 20 guards from our train standing alongside their carriages. They were supervised as normal by our “C in C” and “RSM”, who clearly are now preparing for passing out parade at Sandhurst wearing their best dress uniforms. I didn’t […]

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Distance so far: 10261 km, -18 C, darkness. Just a quick update from the other side of the border. I seemed to have passed muster again and my passport is back in my compartment – my fourth visa for this trip so far is now in place. Guard A and Guard B seem to be on best behaviour as they are back in their home country. Guard B has just given me tickets for a complimentary breakfast and lunch tomorrow, recognising the prestigious arrival of the “native” Chinese restaurant carriage. The Chinese border is quite impressive here at Erlian. They […]

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