Tag Archives: Nanjing

What my father saw in China

Back in 2016 we had a holiday in China and we had invited my father to join us. What I remember most from that trip is the incredible and annoying City Tour Extreme. As there was just so much to write about I split the adventure into four parts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Besides that city tour we experienced the standard MIL madness/ the whole crazy family. Why am I writing about it now? Today I went through my dad’s camera and found the pictures he took last year. Okay that is until the battery was empty on Day 2 of the city tour and he had forgotten to take the proper charging cable with him.

Going to some temple in Xi’an

My father has a different viewpoint when it comes to taking pictures. First of all he is still used to the time before digital cameras swarmed the market so he barely takes more pictures than would fit on an old film (max 36 pictures depending on the film). Secondly he is not wasting as much times as me on taking pictures as he is not aiming for the perfect shot but to have just some “memory” of the trip. Besides those two points he did not take any pictures in Xi’an except from the city wall and from some temple. I think this is because he has been everywhere before back in 2011 so he did not deem those other places worthy of using any space on his SD-Card again in 2016.

The “Old Old city Wall” within/ under the “Old City Wall” in Xi’an

On our city tour extreme I am not sure who was more annoyed by all the misplanning. I mean I was really annoyed but my dad was really really annoyed, especially when our tour guide “The Howling Monkey” did not even let us sleep in the bus after waking up each morning way too early. He even took a picture of the tour guide in order to never forget that person again. He also got rather annoyed by MIL’s behaviour as it was first time he really witnessed all her crazy doings over the span of three weeks. In fact he is right now thinking how he can survive her again next year when we go to China as we will take my father with us once again!

The Howling Monkey in pink, one of my father’s Archenemies

What is really surprising me is that my father actually has still the energy to do such trips with us as he just turned 76 this year. Especially those long flights are hard on him besides trying each day new unknown food in China. Despite having sometimes really many problems in China back in 2016 he still agreed to come with us instantly after we asked him to join us. My mother on the other hand had the same reply as last time “No way I will ever go there again!”.

An ocean of flowers at the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou

Going through the pictures I wondered sometimes on how different they were compared to the ones I took. Sure I took a lot more than him but some places I did not recognize at all or had forgotten as I never captured them with my camera. At times it is really interesting to see how two people can have so very different pictures when visiting the same places. Next time I will make sure that he has his charging cable and I will try to motivate him to take more pictures.

Have you ever checked pictures of another person (friend, spouse, family member) after you went on the same trip somewhere?

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City Tour Extreme: Day One, Nanjing

Our holidays in China are over but I still feel exhausted from the crazy city tour we had. As mentioned before I have a lot to write about this trip, in fact too much so I will have few posts about the different days. The first day of the tour was in Nanjing where we met the rest of the tour group. We had actually arrived in Nanjing the night before but we pretty much didn’t see anything except the airport and our luxury hotel.

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View from our luxury hotel

I know that Nanjing has so many things to visit and I was worried that we would only rush to the different locations as we had only one day there. Oh silly me, I shouldn’t have worried about rushing to all the different spots as we visited only two! Yes two locations we visited before going back to the hotel for the night. No we did not visit the old city fortifications, nor the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, nor Yuejiang Lou, nor any former Nationalist time governmental buildings and and and. I think you can see that we did not visit many places and that I was kind of disappointed. This was not only in Nanjing the case but any other place we visited during those five days.

In the beginning of the tour we basically went to our tour meeting spot by the lake and then drove by bus to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum 中山陵. The construction of the tomb started in 1926 and was finished in 1929. In case you don’t know about Dr. Sun, he was the first President, founding father of the Republic of China and posthumously named “Father of the Nation”. The mausoleum is located at the Purple Mountain and the area is just huge.  As it is located at the mountain slope there are more than just a few steps leading up. The vault is located more than 700m away from the entrance to the mausoleum and the main stairway has 392 steps leading up. During our visit it wasn’t too crowded so we didn’t have to line up anywhere. Once reaching the top of the view is just incredible.  In the vault you can not actually see the tomb as that room has been locked up due to vandalism few years back.

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Top of the stairs of the Mausoleum

After the trip to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum we had another wonderful trip with the bus to our next location: Nanjing Fuzimiao 南京夫子廟.  Back in the years (many years back!) the Nanking Imperial University was placed there as well as a Temple of Confucius. Over the years the place has been destroyed multiple times and most of the current buildings are from the 19th century or even younger. In 1985 it has been restored and you can find now many cultural attraction there but also various places for shopping and last but not least there is a huge variety of different food. Now I was myself not too happy there as it dawned on me that the whole city tour would be like this leaving too many wonderful places out.

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Going around Nanjing Fuzimiao

I wish we could have visited all the other places as well but I know that is never really the purpose of those Chinese tour groups. Thing is we faced many problems with this tour group. For one it was not cheap at all but most annoying the whole schedule was changed. Okay not for all of us as only we had the wrong schedule and the entire rest of the group had the correct schedule. Our original schedule was more relaxing as times for driving between the different cities was better planned and we would have seen more in the cities than just one or two places. Needless to say we were not pleased at all with the whole situation and we wanted to quit the trip more than just once. To make matters worse is that it started to rain after the first day for the rest of the trip and temperatures plummeted down from 30 degrees Celsius to 15-18 degrees Celsius.

Have you ever travelled with a tour group?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

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