We just got back end of last week from a trip to the coast to a place called Beidaihe had a nice time but it was a really long drive over 3 hours each way and "wacky races" all the way haha.There was 11 of us in 3 cars me and Jun in ours with nyarene a woman who is 87 years old from New Zealand and still travelling the world on her own she is a real character full of great stories.She lived in china from 1947 till 1951 leaving when the communists took over, she started a school with our friend Lung,s grandfather, she has also asked us to go out to visit her and stay at her home Lung and his wife have been and said it,s amazing a huge house overlooking the sea on the outskirts of Auckland apparently she is very wealthy and still drives her own car ( lexus),so who knows we might get a cheap holiday haha.
It was nice to walk down to the beach and see the sea again, I spotted a woman stood in the water staring out to sea in a wedding dress i took some photos of her, then she walked back to a 4x4 so we went up to her and showed her the photos her husband was at the back of the motor with a makeshift darkroom set up and we got talking he is a professional photographer for one of chinas main newspapers and has had exhibitions both in China and Paris.He is currently doing a project using old fashioned glass plate photos and showed me some that he had just taken of his wife (thats why she was in a wedding dress in the sea) they were amazing and sell for upto 1,000 pounds each.Anyway we have swapped numbers as they live in Beijing and they suggested we meet up some time.There website is www.dijinjun.com if you would like to see some of his work.
On the night we went to a really famous restaraunt (famous that is for its sea food) so it made no difference to me,the next morning we drove about 35 km up the coast to where the great wall starts, you might remember it from Karl Pilkingtons "An idiot abroad" the wall just goes out about 20 meters into the sea and Karl said "what use is that the invaders will just roll up their trousers and wade around it" or words to that effect haha. The car in the front had sat nav and on the way it took us right through the city centre and all the old areas of Qinhuaningdao it was a nightmare driving Lung said that was the roads from when he went there as a kid on holiday I said I think it,s the same roads Marco Polo used as well haha.It was very busy there with it being the holidays but it was worth going, they were charging 10 pound to go in and including a short boat trip but we said no and just visited the wall for 5 pound. Even the road from Beijing to Beidaihe was a toll road and cost us 12 pound each way a lot of money to pay to play russian roulette haha ( we will go by train next time).We checked the news on Saturday for Friday the last day of the holidays and in one day in this province alone 57 people died on the roads. And the following day a coach taking 55 students back to Uni in the next city to Beijing crashed,apparently the driver was having some kind of "duel" with a car driver when he lost control of the bus and it went over on its right side onto the steel crash barrier and skidded along for 200 meteres with the barrier cutting through it like a knife 35 of the students died.We saw some photos taken of the bus on a blog site as well as one photo of dead students scattered all over the road,It was really awful I just don,t understand why the Gov,t doesn,t do anything to change peoples driving habits eg stiffer penalties, driving bans.