quarta-feira, 29 de junho de 2016

Trans-Siberian - The Farewell

It was a trip with many adventures, many stops, a lot of different cultures. We end this journey with the feeling on how like we are, not many people get to know places so far away as Siberia or Mongolia.

We had a very warm welcome from everybody in the train, from the train staff, tour guides and directors from Lernidee Trains & Cruises. 16 days of wonderful experiences!

This trip carries a huge symbolism for the fact of travelling to one of the most famous train lines in the world. 

For me the highlights of the itinerary were the Lake Baikal with the amazing Russian barbecue in the sunset and the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia, with all the pure traditions of the natives.

For this journey get ready to change a lot your clock because of the different time-zones. Also you will need to exchange your money to 3 different currencies: Russian Rubles, Mongolian Tugrik and Chinese Yuan. In China you will have the chance to spend more money with the Chinese pearls, Silk products like sheets and pillows and the famous Chinese electronics.

In our last night in Beijing we had the pleasure to try the delicious Peking Duck, the dish of the city, and a great way to say goodbye to this journey.

Special thanks to Lernidee Trains & Cruises

terça-feira, 21 de junho de 2016

Dong Hua Men, Beijing - Bizarre Food Market

This is the place where you can try the different strange food that a small percentage of Chinese eat as delicacies.

From Scorpions, crickets, centipedes, small shark, snake, spiders, silk worm and many others, you can try the one you think is the "tastiest". The employs fry the "food" on the stick for you to taste.

This tradition to eat strange kinds of animals was born because of the shortage of agriculture resources, caused by the constant invasions on the China territory, so it was a plan B or C for the people to eat bugs. 

In my case I didn't eat the tarantula :) but there was people in my Portuguese group who did, I guess is the case to say "When in Rome be Roman".

Special thanks to Lernidee Trains & Cruises

terça-feira, 14 de junho de 2016

Beijing, China - Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven

The famous Tiananmen Square is a great way to experience the Chinese history. Many visitors come here. Some to see the Mao Zedong Mausoleum nearby or to explore the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City was a imperial palace were the emperors ruled the country destiny for almost 500 years.

This place is built in a form of a rectangle with almost 1000 meters from north to south and 750 meters east to west so prepare to walk a lot! But it's worth it, the decoration and architecture transport us to the dynasties times.

Then we make a visit to the Beijing hutongs, the old part of the city with narrow streets or alleys. The trip is made with a cycle ricksaws, so we can dive more into this culture.

Finally we arrive to the Temple of Heaven, a complex that was used by the emperors to annually pray for a good harvest. The hypnotic blue of the temple make us stay for a little longer, as we appreciate the typical board games played by the older locals.

Special thanks to Lernidee Trains & Cruises

terça-feira, 7 de junho de 2016

Beijing, China - The Great Wall and the Ming Tombs

When we enter the proximities of Beijing, a fog rises, hiding for moments a monument who can be seen from space, the Great Wall of China. The wall have nearly 8.850 km distance and had a important role in regulating the Silk Road, protecting the people of China from invasion and control the emigration and immigration. 

It is a wonderful feeling to experience the huge monument, a experience to try at least one time in our lifetime!

Then we go on to visit the Ming tombs, a group of mausoleums for the emperors of the Ming dynasty. The place was chosen for his untouchable nature, with rivers and mountains, the ideal an peaceful ambient for burring the dead.

There are thirteen tombs on this site, and only one have been excavated, and was found a lot of treasures from porcelain to silk items. So this area still holds  many mysteries. 

Special thanks to Lernidee Trains & Cruises

quarta-feira, 1 de junho de 2016

Datong, China - Home of the giant Buddha's

In our way to Beijing we stopped in Datong, were we find the Yungang Grottoes with near 50 000 carved images and statues of Buddha's.
The biggest one and more impressive has 7 meters tall.

You can get lost by the size of this place from the temples to the statues, be prepare do be amazed!

This location represent the power of the Buddhist religion in the Chinese territory.

Special thanks to Lernidee Trains & Cruises