Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Taking the Train from Guangzhou to Beijing!

We woke up early in the morning to finish packing for the train ride.  Brad met us at the hotel and we took two separate cars to the station where we met Jieying and her parents, who wanted to see all of us off.   We had a lot of luggage with us so it was good to have the extra help!

Lyric liked sitting on the top bunk.
Everything went by so fast that before we knew it we were on the train getting all of our luggage settled in.  Kevin and I had traveled on a train in Ukraine a few years ago so we were happy to see the soft beds we paid extra for were really nice.  There was even a built-in television at the foot of each bed, clean sheets, and soft pillows.  Carissa, Laurel, Lyric, Jieying and I shared one cabin and Brad, Kevin, and Tyler shared another cabin with a Chinese gentleman.

Lyric and Laurel couldn't decide which bunk they wanted to sit on so they were like little monkeys going from bunk to bunk (which kept us busy lifting Lyric up and down!).

We had brought a few snacks with us and Jieying and her parents had packed food as well.  It was going to be a long train ride - it took about 23 hours, so we had to eat a few meals on the train.  Around meal times,  someone would come down the isle selling food, like noodles and rice.  Most of the time we ate our snack food and got hot water for Ramon Noodles.

Laurel was being a monkey.
Every now and then the train would make a stop at a small station.  Kevin, Brad and Jieying got off the train to stretch their legs and ended up buying some corn on the cob.  We had learned by now that Lyric did not know how or when to stop eating.  When they brought in the corn, she had already had a good meal, but she wanted more.  She really, really liked eating the corn on the cob, but we eventually had to take it away.  I honestly think she would have made herself sick had we let her keep eating.  Everything is so new to her.  She likes to try everything.  When we get home we will start working on regular meals!

It was really nice taking the train because we got out of the city and were able to see a lot of the countryside.  At one point when we were in Guizhou, Laurel had asked when we were going to get into the country.  We didn't get to walk around, but at least we got to ride through it!

Protecting their crops.
The children also got a big kick out of going through tunnels.  They didn't particularly like using the bathroom on the train, but at least they had a western toilet to sit on!  When we were on the train in Ukraine, the bathrooms would be locked 15 minutes before we got to a town and unlocked 15 minutes after we left the town.  Know why?  Anything that goes into the toilet drops right on down to the tracks below - biodegradable, right?  I think it was about the same way on the China train.

Beautiful girl
I slept better than I thought I would on the train, although I still woke up quite a bit.  I put Lyric at my feet to sleep, and I woke up a few times to make sure she was alright.  Then, the train would stop at stations in the night and I woke up at each one thinking it was time to pack up our bags.  Still, it was very comfortable, and I would do it again it a heart-beat.  It was much cheaper than taking the plane for all of us from Guangzhou back to Beijing where we would get our plane home.

After a decent night's sleep it was time to pack up the bags, catch a ride to our hotel, and then head back out for our last day of shopping in Beijing before we headed home!

Older building.  Wonder what the signs say?

Nice house all by itself.

Baskets of vegetables are at her side.

Pretty view.

Lyric was happy a second ago!

Brad is liking that corn on the cob!
Lyric thoroughly enjoying her corn.

Just hanging out - great smile.

This beautiful girl looks suspicious - I think she got into the candy!

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