Train To Nanjing

Nicholas Quirke was almost comatose by the end of the day on 28 May 2020 having travelled by bullet train from Beijing to one of Chinas 4 major capital cities, Nanjing. After a breakfast of rice wrapped in bamboo, it took them 3 hours 20 minutes to travel over 640 miles, the top speed reaching 340 km per hour. The scenery wasn’t as spectacular as he expected, mostly agriculture, industry and tower blocks with mountains visible on the horizon. The skies were clear and the time passed swiftly as he was helping a friend with a piece of creative writing. They took the subway to their hotel which was located in the Fuzmiao area and very close to The Confucious temple they planned to visit that day. On handing over his passport to the receptionist he could see there was some consternation caused by his foreigness and they discovered that Lao Wei’s were not welcome in the establishment. They had to swiftly reorganise plans and Peng got them booked into a sister hotel, which turned out to be opposite the Nanjing Theatre which Nicholas felt was somehow apt. After checking in, they set off to explore the city. The streets were lined with beautiful pale, sturdy sycamores. The confucious Temple and Acadamy was beautiful with some really stunning art but with The annual Lantern festival starting on the the 29th of May the decor that had been set up was gaudy and looked hideously cheap and tawdry in the elegant beautiful; setting. He noticed immediately how different the ancient architechture was outside of the Imperial setting of Beijing’s Ming and Qing Dynasties. Gone are the reds a golds and replaced by a more austere and plain colour scheme yet as equally entrancing with the eaves curving flamboyantly it to the air. The highlight of the day was visiting the west Zhong hoom Gate which afternoon exploring the soldiers keep they were able to climb and walk the city walls. These were empty and as they travelled along passed by the river Qinhuai, the roofs of slum dwellings, at times staring straight into apartments of passing buildings. It felt like their own playground from which they surveyed the city and they made the most of the walk. They were eating at a smart Vegan restaurant in one of the upmarket Malls and as they waited for a Didi to collect them Nicholas watched a lady dance extravagantly with a stereo. At first he thought she was a teenager and then when he got closer saw that she was well into her middle age. The supper was delicious and as they hadn’t eaten lunch much needed. After supper they headed back on bikes to The Fuzmiao area and enjoyed watching the night life and saw that the hideous decorations for the lantern festival actually looked quite nice in the night lights. He drank plum juice and ate a rice lolly before calling it a night and seeking bed in the hotel.


  1. Enjoy your little trip to Nanjing, it looks special. Hope you can cope with any memorial to the awful WW2 massacre, I daresay you’ll come across. Hideous piece of history. Take care, Px

  2. That was a clever tracking shot up the steps. I was hoping you would linger on Isadora. You didn’t say what it was like to travel that fast on the bullet train. X

    1. We have discovered the time lapse function on GoPro. It may get overused! Poor isadora, China has its share of eccentrics. To be honest other than the scenery passing quicker than you might expect it feels no different to a regular train. Xx

  3. What a busy day! Love all the sculptures there are. That lady looked so happy doing her little dance 😊xx

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