Seaside Great Wall

Nicholas Quirke was waking to a a beautiful view of the sea on 24 July 2020 which made him think of Brighton and how he missed the views of the coast. The breakfast room too had a great view of the sea though the buffet was not as vegan friendly as he had been used to. With no Su Boazi he had to make do with the plethora of spicy side dishes and the millet congee. The itinerary for the day included the poor where the Great Wall of China’s met the sea. It was however an hour drive away and meant going through the city of Qinhuangdao itself. Despite the threat of rain it turned out to be another day of baking sunshine and high temperatures. Too high in fact, and left both feeling enervated by the heat as they progressed around the site which has been largely restored and there was actually very little of the original stone left. It was still an impressive sight, and the views along the coast and the beach were stunning. Having made their way through the fortress they next visited the Sea God temple which in 1900 was another site destroyed by the Eight Power invaders. Lovingly restored the Ming Dynasty construction stretching into the sea was a glorious oriental vision. Thee were hint for relics was not over and they next moved to explore the old city walls and the important First Pass tower. He was delighted to catch sight of a group of middle aged ladies in uniform outfits and with coloured scarfs posing for a dramatic photo which he managed to capture for his own amusement. By this time they were both beginning to wilt and the realisation that they had only snacked hot them and Peng first found a mall where they could get a Vegan noodle soup, though the faux meat tentacle did turn his stomach, particularly the rubbery texture, though the taste of it was bland: The soup was delicious and they followed it up with an excess of sugar in a Cantonese style desert shop and which the sweets, not only looked exquisite; the jellied lychee globes and the black sesame paste with glutinous rice balls, but also set his taste buds tingling. This gave them the energy they needed to get through the remainder of the day and not even the grilling they received at the police check to return to Beidaihe, under scrutiny as it is the holiday Haunt of the Premier and CCP council, during which , Nicholas recklessly took a photograph and was reprimand by both police and Peng; could dim the enthusiasm for their visit to the estuary resort of Pigeon Nest Park. They were not prepared for swimming but it was shallow waters and the sea at this point never seemed to reach higher than the thighs. They rolled up the shorts and got snapping photos of the beautiful bay, the birds and the holiday makers. The sand however was not flat and in the attempt to get good pictures ended up with very wet shorts. They explored the rest of the resort, climbing to a pavilion which was another location favoured by Mao, who penned a poem it was dark when they got back to the hotel and rather than hunt for suitable food they got a take away from a ‘time honoured brand’ making Baozi with tofu centres and for desert filled with red paste. In the tradition of southern and Hangzhou cuisine fried the base! Delicious, this wSs something he was going to have to learn to cook and bring back to the uk with him. That time though seemed a long way away and for now he enjoyed drifting to sleep watching the lights of the distant rave penetrate the black sky:

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