A Travellerspoint blog

Who needs the gym, when you can climb the Great Wall??

sunny 28 °C

Good evening friends !!

I couldn't be happier that Garrison is blogging ! πŸ€— He'll soon get over the whole "cheese" factor, and want to write all about his experiences. It's one thing to hear about my days, but to get another perspective? a male perspective at that! I'm sure it'll be interesting. P.s I told him he could swear, if it frustrated him THAT much hehe.

We've never done this blogging thing before, but if we came on being all structured and fake, what would be the point?? Travelling is not ALL fun. It's stressful, and expensive. Not to mention, exhausting. Currently, I'm laying on a couch in my very peaceful hostel, watching people come and go, listening to the most calming music (seriously, I don't know where this stuff comes from) lol when only an hour ago, we were searching the very limited net to find a last minute train ticket to Xi'an tomorrow morning, and a hostel to stay at that wouldn't bankrupt us 5 days in 😳. We were successful, but not without a few "b*tch sessions".

We have to keep reminding each other that this trip is NOT planned, there is no specific itinerary and we're going to feel helpless at times.

Anyways, on a more positive note, today was AMAZING ! I won't need to say much, because I'm sure Rob is writing all about it. But the Great Wall of China is unreal. We climbed the stair master 100 x's over today, the difference being intricate brick work, stunning views, and the GREAT WALL, a symbol of China's historic detachment from Mongolia (r. 221-210B.C) -- These facts are as historical as I get, they come straight out of the travel book I packed ! Shout out to my Dad on this one πŸ™ƒπŸŒ

We leave out early to Xi'an via trainπŸ›€, thanks to our hostel front lobby, clutching last minute tickets for a sweet 15% commission charge (see, expensive right?😳) I would have loved more time in Beijing to see the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the Olympic Stadium, to name just a few.

I really loved this city. There is so much character within the local shops, the hutongs (side streets) and the people, of course. I would highly recommend travel to Beijing, China 🌍

Thank you for following us in our journey❀️ See you in Xi'an !

Rob and Erin ✌🏻️

Posted by Globalsoul005 04:19 Archived in China Comments (1)

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Day 3

sunny 28 °C

Started the day bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am ready to conquer the great wall of china. Erin was starving so she went to our usual dumpling shack down the street to pick up a bag full of morning meat dumplings. Costs like $1.50 CAD for these things and they totally hit the spot. We get on the bus and they take us about an hour and a half outside town to the wall. Just before the wall there is a cluster of fast food restaurants like burger king, subway, pizza...it was actually weird to see this stuff because there is NOTHING like this in the city.

Asian tour guide spoke horrible english I thought she was speaking mandarin the whole time, erin was ready to throw her sandal at her like the dude who threw his shoe at George Bush. She said u can climb the hill to get to the wall or take the gondola up, we also had the option to take these Jamaican bobsleds down. She said whatever way u take, u better get to lunch at 1pm or u don't eat. We took the gondolas up and the bobsleds down as quickly as possible.

When getting up to the wall (on top of mountain), we were met with stunning 360 views as far as the eye could see. The wall was absolutely incredible, 14th century ish architecture constantly restored making it seem as authentic as the day it was built. We met some cool ppl while almost getting scammed for coffee, they tried to charge us 45 yuan (9 CAD ish) for a paper cup of coffee, we talked them down to 10 yuan (2 CAD) and laughed along the way. Walked the wall and rode the insane toboggans down, soooo much fun I definitely recommend coming down this way. Another recommendation if u should ever find yourself at the wall, spend time doing what matters and pay for the gondola up. It costed us 100 yuan (20 bucks) pp for the gondola up and toboggan down but saved us soo much time and energy climbing a mountain which would have limited our time on the actual wall. The wall excursion was my favorite part of beijing and is great for the average traveller like me and history buffs alike.

We arrived back at the hostel exhausted from the day which is really becoming Standard procedure. Walking everywhere in the hot sun eating nothing but healthy chinese food is making us hella skinny, I told erin to eat a sandwich today or she might blow away in the wind. We head 5.5 hrs to XI AN tmw to see some terracotta warriors, working our way further and further south...

until next time u beautiful people

Rob and Erin, *peace

Posted by Globalsoul005 03:48 Archived in China Comments (0)

"15 minutes of fame"

Day 2 at the Fobidden City

sunny 20 °C

Good morning Y'all, it's 5:45 Beijing time and we're waking up for a day at the GREAT WALL !! Well, I'm up so far.

We got home from an exciting day at the Forbidden City, only to crash at 17:00, sleeping through the entire night ! Seems like a pattern for us lately hehe What does that tell you though ?? Beijing is huge ! Yesterday, we walked for half of what we did the day before, only because we've now managed to master the Subway system, and every muscle in our bodies are still aching. I haven't seen one gym along the way and it's clearly because the locals do NOT need one hehe All they need to do is take the subway a few times a day. 10km walk βœ”οΈ.

We tried to get to the Forbidden City the day before, at 14:30, but that's clearly the worst time to attempt it. We also found out along the way, you need your passports to get in. (Tea scammers told us that; at least they were good for something😳 ). Fail x 2 for us. We had no clue what time it closed at and we weren't sure how much it was to get in. Garrison made an exec decision to try for the next day. TIP: Get to the Fobidden City EARLY, to spend your morning with millions, not billions of people. It really makes a difference here in China πŸ‘πŸ»

When we arrived at the Forbidden City, people not only stared at us, but they APPROACHED US, asking for pictures with them πŸ˜‚ This is why I say "15 minutes of fame". Once one person got a picture, five other locals would come over. Of course, Rob and I found this incredibly amusing. What do you think their insta hashtag would be on those shots.. #whiteblonde, #westerners #real πŸ˜‚ Later, we simply found out by our waitress, Annie, that locals don't see Westerners too often and it's a big deal. They will take our pictures back and show their families.
God, I hope I was having a good hair day πŸ˜πŸ’πŸΌ

Lastly, we've been lugging around a 1.5L camelback, which has been a life-saver. We also find ourselves saying all-too often how hungry we are. I can imagine we're burning off triple what we're eating. I did try a local street food though, corn on the cob. Everyone eats corn on the cob and the kernels are huge ! I gave her a go, and it wasn't very successful πŸ™ƒ

I'm off to wake up my other half for an 8km climb up the Great Wall πŸ˜† It's one of those places I never imagined seeing in my lifetime, so this is HUGE ! We can't wait to learn about the history and step foot on those stairs.

This is our last full day in Beijing before we hop on a train to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors. I have to say, there is so much to see and do in Beijing, it's definitely not a 3 day visit; however, we are very happy with what we've accomplished. Stay tuned for all the history we learned about the Forbidden City and the beautiful Great Wall of China !

Rob and Erin ✌🏻️

Posted by Globalsoul005 14:51 Archived in China Comments (2)

Tea is more expensive than food around here !😳

Day 1 in Beijing

sunny 18 °C

So, Garrison and I woke up in a beautiful hostel this morning around 5:45, somewhat jet-lagged after a 14 hour sleepless night. Airport express and two subway transfers got us to Whingami Hutong, where we'll stay at Peking Hostel for the next 4 nights. Wi-if is pretty weak, no such connection to gmail, or google, or Facebook πŸ’”

There's plenty to say about our first day walking, which felt like forever, around the city. Probably a good 20km. We have no clue how to use the subway system yet and everything is in Mandarin. The smog is pretty bad (yes Mom, it's true) and there's billions of people trying to get to the same place, it seems. Rob and I are like aliens. They don't know what to think of us LOL I don't know if it's the blonde in me? Or the black in Rob? Or the camelback I was drinking out of? But they sure know how to stare LoL Some locals asked for a picture with us, and someone confirmed with Rob if his hair was real ?! πŸ™ƒ LoL

We spent 127 Yaun ($25 CAD) on lunch for two, and spent 400 Yuan ($100), on tea 😁. I'm sure you're saying what the... ? Well, it's true. Garrison doesn't even like tea and I've been turned off for life now. Sadly,, we may have been part of the tea scam. Two ladies convinced us they were so happy to meet English speaking travellers to practice more of their English, they invited us for an afternoon tea lol. We went, and we spent..... ALOT, on tea................ Turns out, tea is actually very expensive around here, but what the hell makes for a good tea? I couldn't tell the diff ! One thing I can say about that is, we even researched scams, and well, we still feel we got scammed. It just goes to show, you can never be too aware of your surroundings.

On a positive note, we made it to Jing Shan Park. Jing Shan meaning, View or prospect hill, and we climbed to the top of the Wanchun Ting (Wanchun Pavillion) for amazing views of the Forbidden City.

What did we take away from today? Beijing is not easy to wander by yourselves. Tour groups may be a better option. When you don't know where you're going, nobody can help. It's just you and your travel buddy, fending for yourselves. Cabbies have no clue what your saying and the rickshaws would charge you more than the tea, I'm sure. 😜

The best feeling is knowing we have nowhere to be too quickly. We love exploring this country and it's fast-paced, culture and we love spending time we each other. So, to day 3.. 🍻 P.s a 600ml bottle of Tsingtao is 5.50 Yuan ($1.10 CAD). Helps to balance out the tea costs! Haha
Stay tuned for more !!

Rob and Erin ✌🏻️

Posted by Globalsoul005 01:04 Archived in China Comments (0)

Let the journey begin !! 🌏🌍🌎 Day 1

Departing from T.O, 17:20 with Hainan Airlines

rain 8 °C

Hello Everybody !!

We miss you already (we really, really do!) We're waiting at Gate C32, boarding in about an hour in a half. We're flying with Hainan Airlines, pronounced "hi-nan" and who's Hainan, you ask?? We don't even know, but there's leather seating and IPads everywhere. They say it's similar to Cathay Pacific (unlimited drinks !! Yeaa🍺🍷) and the price was right! That's how we roll, Garrison and I. As long as they got thatπŸ˜† P.s Rob is Garrison.

So, I was super hesitant about starting a blog because it's cheesy, no? My Dad always taught me to journal about my travels and what better way to keep in contact with all our favourite people!? (Esp our lil' Mother, who's terrified for our safety πŸ™ƒ) PLUS! let's be real, we're going to Asia for 2 months, no plans, no WORK, just the backpacks on our backs (which btw, we killed it this time around with lightweight, hands free travel, compared to purses, gym bags, laptops, and more, from our last adventure). AND I didn't pack a hairdryer or STRAIGHTENER, WTH. I know, sounds high maintenance as hell, but if you knew about my hair, you'd understand 😳 It doesn't just fall beautifully like the rest of y'all 😜 Garrison's exact words, "I want you to look like a homeless person. I don't want to attract any attention". πŸ˜‚ A homeless person??? πŸ€” LoL
Anyways, if you don't know us, we met on our first hire date as Paramedics in Ottawa and we've been together ever since. We freakin' love to travel and continue to find ways to escape our daily norms. Our families think we're crazy.
Thank you so much to all the amazing people that care about us and our journey. Our Ottawa peeps coming out for a final send off, numerous travel tips and generous donated travel "must-haves". You "must-have" a money belt. LoL Thank you to my Mom for putting together an amazing night with my gorgeous girlfriends, and my not so little sister, Jenny, congratulations on your nursing degree !! We're so proud, and we can't wait to celebrate the right way 😘

I hope you enjoy this blog. Garrison and I are going to make a point to write, and video our experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly ! Attached is a map of our tentative itinerary and the must-sees we've been talking about for the last year. Stay tuned for more !!

Rob and Erin ✌🏻️

Posted by Globalsoul005 10:00 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

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