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Friday, October 30, 2015

The Bullet Train

One thing I've noticed about Chinese architecture is that it's radical. 

There are train stations with sweeping waving roofs and ones with bold dramatic pillars, but the one we ended up at today was pretty ordinary. The reason we're taking the bullet train wasn't, though. Our flight had been canceled and Sinorama needed us in Wuhan by a certain time, so the bullet train was our only option. Our guide tells us that the travel company is losing money on this trip, as each ticket costs over $100, but I suspect it's not so in the long scheme of things. 
As with everything else, we must go through security and we're told our tickets will be checked twice at this end and once at our destination. 

But after all the security we've walked through, this is more than manageable, and we're soon aboard the train. 

It's roomier than a plane, thankfully, and a ticker tape up front tells us how fast we're going. If I hadn't been told, I wouldn't have guessed it. The train is smooth as ice and no acceleration is felt. The toilet in it is a squatter, but clean and hot water is available for your bucket of dry noodles. I watch the landscape tear by, and again find myself shocked at the pollution. 

Even though we take the bullet train, we still face a 3 hour bus trip to reach the dock where we will board the ship. We stop at a highway rest stop, and I find myself snapping pictures of the exotic food the Chinese purchase for snacks. No thank you!

Supper is super fast, a rush in and rush out, but we are allowed to look down from our balcony spots to watch a local wedding in progress. It's stunningly noisy, more like a bridal show and filled with loud music and an MC who'd obviously had too much sugar and caffeine. 
Thankfully, we leave that behind and within the hour are aboard the cruise ship. It's late, but the ship is small and luxurious, with each cabin having a balcony. 

I flop down on the bed only to discover it's a box spring with a mat on top of it. The luxury part slipped a bit. 
Our view is dockside, but the weather is warm. We won't be 'shoving off' tomorrow. Rather we will be seeing some of the local sites. Stay tuned, because one of the sites you'll only see in China.

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