Changing Cities

Nicholas Quirke was moving on again on 12 August 2020 and seeing another new city and one immortalised by one of his favourite directors, Wong Kar Wai, in Chungking Express; though he was not expecting to see the underworld it depicted. There was still unfinished business in Chengdu before taking the train to Chongqing and the Wuhou Temple, located on the doorstep of his hotel is a Shrine Temple dedicated to the Marquis Wuhou of the Kingdom of Shu in the Three Kingdoms Period (220 – 280) And importantly the Temple and mausoleum of Liu Bei, the emperor of Shuhan, and Two of his generals. Known as ‘Three Brother’ for the pact they signed. The gardens and tombs were well preserved and beautiful and he was particularly keen on the stories and the effigies of the all the major figures of from that time, were created during the Qing Dynasty. They had noodles for lunch and then took the train across country and through the beautiful Sichuan countryside to Chongqing. The city, which when they arrived seemed even hotter than Chengdu, was once part of Sichuan but is now separate and forms one of China’s major municipalities. Built on the mountains and around the Yangtze, its skyline was dominated by skyscrapers and he was informed by Wei, very similar to Hong Kong. He was excited to see that he hotel room on the 19th floor squeezed in a view of the Yangtze River and they decided that they would take a cable car ride across the legendary waterway and then go and eat. The station was very close to the hotel, but when they arrived the queues to get on were really long and it could take about an hour to get on. Plans were changed and they would do the ride in the morning. Instead, they decided to eat and on their way to a HotPot restaurant a sole traveler, a girl called Ling, started to talk chat and asked if she could join them for dinner and though she spoke no English they said yes. In the restaurant, Wei explained that Nicholas was Vegan and they would be not be eating meat and her face fell and she said she would eat on her own. The incident was worthy of mention as when Nicholas passed her table later it was literally laden with about 20 dishes, way too much, and Ling sent over a plate of vegetables to them as she couldn’t eat it all. It was night by the time they left and they went for a walk along the river to take in the neon lights and sights. Nicholas remembered that he had an online class English class and they curtailed the walk to get back to the hotel. By the time he finished the work it was late and time for bed.

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