China, part 1

Four plane flights, one gig.

I travelled to Beijing, China with Mental As Anything to play a charity gig. The gig was at The Sofitel, as was our accommodation. It took me a minute to get to the gig from my room. (A minute and a half if the lift was slow).

I’d never been to China before so was keen to see how things worked there (more on this in the next post). We had a good flight from Sydney to Shanghai. The plane was only half full so plenty of room to stretch out. I also noticed that I felt much better that I usually do after a long plane ride, I suspect that with less passengers on board there was more oxygen to go around.

We arrived in Beijing around 30 minutes early, unusually, all our flights on this trip ran early. The first thing we noticed after getting off the plane was the smog, even in the airport terminal. It was much worse than even LA. We arrived at our hotel around midnight. There’s a three hour time difference between Sydney & Beijing so it was 3am to us.

The first day I was up early and at breakfast by 6.30am as a couple of us were going to The Great Wall and we were being picked up at 7am. It worked out to be around an eight hour round trip to The Wall and back with a few hours there. It was well worth the trip, so much history to take in.

2016-03-03 10.08.13

Waiting at Sydney airport for a days travel to Beijing, China. The only bit of “musical equipment” I took with me was a guitar pick!

2016-03-03 21.54.21

Between flights at Shanghai airport after a 8 hour and 15 minute flight.

2016-03-04 00.40.03

Had a great ‘King’ room at the hotel in Beijing.

2016-03-04 17.04.55

Courtesy of hotel management to welcome us. A lovely work of chocolate and a great fruit bowl.

2016-03-04 16.29.42

View from hotel window on the first day. It was the worst day of smog in the last few years.

2016-03-04 09.22.02

Travelling to The Great Wall.

2016-03-04 10.17.49

About The Great Wall.

2016-03-04 11.14.23

On The Great Wall.

2016-03-04 10.31.47

On the chair lift that takes you to The Wall.

2016-03-04 10.55.20

Cannon aiming at the Mongolian side of The Wall.

2016-03-04 10.41.28

Plenty of stairs to navigate.

2016-03-04 11.36.19

After a few hours climbing The Wall a beer was in order. The beers are not kept in a fridge because the outside air is enough to keep them cold.

2016-03-04 10.43.37

View from The Wall looking down over the toboggan track.

2016-03-04 11.58.24

We took the toboggan option to get back down the hill. It was a great ride down.

2016-03-05 10.35.30

View from the hotel window on the second day. Smog had cleared, helped by some light winds.

2016-03-05 12.18.05

The guitar I used – I’ll explain in the next post.

Read: Part 2 & Part 3