Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Day 35 - A Day of Travel
An old Chinese proverb says that 'When the crescent moon rises you should travel far distances without reaching your intended destination'. Ok, maybe it does not say this as I just made it up but it could say this and would fit well for today. ;)
To get to Xiamen was a bit of a mission and I had to take three trains, I guess if I would have planned it better I would have stayed in Suzhou first and after in Hangzhou as there are more direct trains to Xiamen from Hangzhou. But anyway, after taking the train from Suzhou to Shanghai Hongqiao, then onwards to Hangzhou East and from there to Xiamen, I arrived here at 18:50.
Now, while this was close it should still give me plenty of time to get the 20:00 ferry, especially after waiting only 10 minutes for a taxi and making it to the port by 19:25.
This looked all very promising and I was certain to make it until I got into the departure lounge.
Well, it was deserted and nobody was there. After finding someone hidden behind a desk I tried to find out what the situation was. After a bit of a struggle, she understood that I was after the Taiwan ferry but said that contrary to the website, it leaves at 19:00 so there is no ferry till Thursday.
This means I now have two days to see Xiamen so I did what I always do when plans change unexpectedly, I was looking for a bar with wifi to get a beer (earlier in the day it would have been a coffee). After consulting my Fonepad I found a few bars in a park nearby according to the maps app I use so I was headed in this direction.
Once I found a bar and I had a cold pint in front of me, I began looking for a place to stay and for things to do in Xiamen. The nice thing was that they also had a really good band playing so this made it even nicer.
If I learned one thing during my travels is that no matter what happens, always stay cool and get a coffee or beer as things will look much better with one in front of you and it will give you time to sort things out.
After enjoying the drink and live music, I set out to the hostel, it was quite far out but was really cheap and got good reviews. Unfortunately the taxi driver did not know how to get there and just left me out in a small side street to try and find the hostel.
After wandering for a while, I ended up at a different hotel where they were nice enough to phone the hostel and have the owner pick me up.
Finding places is quite a challenge at times but it's always interesting and a challenge.
Tomorrow, I will have time to explore Xiamen and see some more of the place but so far it has a different feel to the other cities and feels a bit more like Hong Kong.
In case you started to miss my pictures out of a train window, this post should have you covered. ;)