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A brief story about traveling in China.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A brief story about traveling in China (Beijing-Pingyao-Xian-Chengdu-Songpan-Langmusi-Lanzhou-Beijing) Coming back from Provinces to the City of Beijing again is kind of shock...no it is not a shock but it feels like you are leaving another life behind and start living your routine again. Start drowning into the jungle of the big city, drowning into the jungle of streets, houses, cars, bicycles, dust and noise far away from the oases we have found on our travel. Feels like you are lost again in between all of them and nothing around you is willing to take any notice of you...or maybe I am not willing to notice my surrounding. I feel a bit trapped in this big city. Beijing is too huge just to escape for a while from the crowds...there are people everywhere and everywhere you can see and hear their signs of civilization. It is like a big ant hill and I am somewhere in the middle...f...!!!! So I was quite happy that a friend of mine came visiting me and I got the grateful job as a tour guide around the country. That was my chance to turn my back to the city. At least for while so I could refresh my batteries a bit and see the horizon for the first time since a few months only staring at house walls. Well, where to start to make it not too boring for you. Best thing you first get something to drink and a map of China that you can follow through the wild wild east. China is a huge country and traveling here means to go over huge distances all the time. If you think an 8-hour bus ride over bumping roads is long then you shouldn't do something like this. Anyway, let's start. Immediately after the 10-hour flight of my friend Katja from Germany we drove of by overnight train to a small but well-preserved town called Pingyao 600km southwest of Beijing. ...read more.

Middle

But the view was fantastic not least because of the weather. The air was as clear as a crystal so we were able look for miles into the country. Some peaks were still covered by clouds and some parts were shining in the sun. Below us in the valley we could see the villages and their fields as terraces on the hills and further away an eagle was circling over the sky. So I enjoyed riding on the ridge having this fantastic view and watching the tents of the herdsmen and their yaks whose are living for the whole summer period from June to August up here. I asked myself how they are going to wash themselves since there are no rivers, but decided that this question is not important at the moment considering our hygienic situation for the last 3 days. I felt a bit sad at this time because I didn't know when again I would feel so much freedom and peace. When again I can stand on the top of a mountain and feel this incomprehensible vastness of this huge area where is one mountain next to each other and the forces of the nature are doing what ever they want. Then I feel small and suddenly realize who is ruling on this planet. It's a great feeling and a pity to see what human beings are doing every day. Back in town those thoughts give way the essential question for "where to get food from?" and "Do they have hot shower today?" (they didn't have). I am back in normal life. But this horse trek was really something else. Actually now we planed to go back to Chengdu and then to Chongqing to catch a boat through the Three Gorges, the most famous Chinese attraction after the Great Wall, which will be not that impressive anymore after the finished the damn dam. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's fantastic. I never saw an eagle that close, I never felt so much freedom and peace and I never was so amazed. I can't really find words for this. It is a unique experience. I finally sat down and were watching for hours into the country, enjoyed the warm sun on my back, the smell of grasslands blown up by the wind, the every time changing pattern of the countryside from the shadow of the clouds, followed with my eyes the silver band of a stream running through the valley, enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere and tried to look behind the horizon...behind the blue lake, behind the tiny road leading to meet with the sky in the far distance, behind the massive mountains rising up at the horizon, behind the clouds drifting over the endless blue sky, behind the eagle flying towards the sun. I think I was sitting there for about 3 or 4 hours when a grumble woke me up out of my thoughts and dark clouds and a stronger wind made me leave. I made my way down and felt satisfied. Also the starting rain made me feel good (didn't need to take pictures at this time) and arrived just in time the hotel when the thunderstorm started. Now the only thing I needed was just a Yak-Burger and a beer, which I immediately got - the end of a wonderful day. The end of this journey as well, because time was running and we had to set out back to Beijing. This time everything was just normal. First 12 hours in a bus leaving the mountains behind us and then, after not having any problems buying train tickets, another 24 hours on the train with air condition and bed. Sometimes traveling in China can be so easy. And if you didn't fall asleep already you may sleep now, very deep and soundly...Good night and nice dreams! - 1 - ...read more.

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