I’ll have lots of pictures next time.
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So far, our English 8 have traveled from Toronto to Chicago to Beijing, approximately 7,041 miles. This does not include the bus trips in the three days since our arrival in Beijing to Tiananmen Square; Forbidden City; Temple of Heaven; The Great Wall; Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, and old Beijing Hutong.
The night before we scrambled to assemble our suitcases and sort out what we’d need for the morning and left our bags in the hallway for pickup as instructed. It seemed odd the next morning when the bags were in the lobby–sitting there looking abandoned and crammed together for protection. We could have brought them down when we met in the lobby after breakfast. What a headache for nothing. No tour was planned for the morning.
We were off for the first of our domestic flights to Luoyang. Robert, our guide, came with us to the luggage drop-off and as far as Security, which made it easier to find our way through the airport.
Someone brought up tipping at dinner the night before, but no conclusion had been reached. Before Robert said goodbye, there was a scramble to cross his palm with Chinese money.
I stood behind Sue at the Security Check and was yelled at to step back behind the yellow line. Scared me silly. When my turn came, the (young) clerk looked so stern, I was nervous but I also felt she was milking it—you know—a power trip. I waited while she took her time before returning my passport and boarding pass. Once through, the body scanning wand went off. What’s going on? Deep breath. The problem: my bought-in-Canada made-in-China earrings.
Russ waited in line behind his wife who cleared in no time. We waited and waited for him in consternation. Finally, we watched him being escorted to another Security desk. When his carry-on had been x-rayed, they couldn’t figure out what set off the alarm. He had a camera charger which wasn’t labeled with voltage information (there is a maximum allowed) and it had to be turned in. The security guard, who escorted him, laughed silently. I saw his animated face and shaking shoulders. Even the fellow at the desk, taking possession of the charger, was apologetic, but rules were rules.
Our arrival at the airport was 10:00 a.m., too early for 12:30 boarding. Take-off was 1:00. Would you believe we were given a meal on such a short flight (about an hour and a half)? Then again, it was time for a mid-day meal. The boxed lunch consisted of rice with scrambled egg mixed in and a piece of chopped ham; a dried fruit bun; coffee; water, and cookies. A lot of Chinese were on our flight. One guy I watched across the aisle wolfed down his food as if he were starving.
We arrived around 2:30 p.m. I estimated we’d flown 420 miles on a ticket worth about $143.00 USD. We did not pay this. Our trip was all inclusive.
Next up August 15, Day 6, Part 2 – Luoyang (Longmen Caves)
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