Having left Beijing late in the afternoon due to delays, we drove late to reach our nights destination. It was just that…a destination and a bed for the night…so noodles were dinner as we stopped at the service centre. The next morning we journeyed on to Pingyao which we reached by about 1pm. It is a preserved old town and the structures and alleyways are preserved to look as they did hundreds of years ago. A gorgeous walled city.IMG_7335

We checked into our accommodation which was typical of years gone by… a guest house with a central courtyard and rooms off this. We knew we had to buy a ticket that would allow us to climb the city walls and enjoy visiting the temples etc. When we went to do this with our passports we found that it was free because we were over 60! This is one situation when we felt we should have paid as the money goes back to the town to help retain its history.

A coffee and sandwich at Shrew’s coffee shop was entertaining and a ceramic wall of nine dragons was photographic.

IMG_7358Exploring the Confucius temple, the old homes, the Taoist temple, the oldest bank in China and climbing the wall kept us busy until it was time for dinner.

IMG_7478IMG_7503IMG_7529Earlier we had seen the local noodles being made so we went back there for dinner. Ordering off the pictures on the menu is fun and our meal was wonderful…added to by some local beer. Yes…you  hear me correctly…beer!


The posing for photos is something we have watched the Chinese do over and over again and even the small children are learning that when the camera is pointed you take up a pose such as this. We thought this old doorway would be a good place for a pose!

Internet was intermittent so today I write for 2 days. (couldn’t publish this last night but at 5.30 am the internet is not in high demand so here goes. We headed off this morning with a walk through the alleyways of Pingyao. A visit to a Buddhist temple

about 20 mins away and then we got on the road for  Xian where  we will visit the Terracotta warriors.

Posted in Vulcan on Tour

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Wine and more architecture

Wine and More Wine – OleBilbao OLD and NEW Monday dawned sunny and warm and we headed down to the Guggenheim Museum, even though it is closed we wanted to relish the slick titanium skin, contrasted against the smooth pale limestone blocks. Everything glistened in the bright morning sun, reflections of the curved surfaces bounced off the water surrounding the metal walls and the metallic sculptures in the forecourts around the Guggenheim. Did you know that every surface in the building is curved and there are no straight lines thus emphasising the organic flowing lines of this magnificent Frank Gehry masterpiece Tomorrow we’ll visit this amazing museum along with our Silk Road companions Pat and David who we are travelling with around Spain and Portugal in our trusty MGs. Hop on and off buses have always been a favourite and quick way of acquainting ourselves with a city. We cruised around the narrow streets enjoying the views from the top deck. We were diverted by police a few times into the back streets because of a rally of thousands of people marching along the main thoroughfare of the city. Red, white and Green flags and banners waving, fire crackers exploding, releasing clouds of smoke. How We hopped off a The Mercado de la Ribera one of the largest fresh food markets in Europe and we arrived just in time for some Pintxos which we enjoyed with a beer and Sangria. So many delicious sweet and savoury munchies to choose from – what a treat!

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