We crashed early, but couldn’t sleep for longer than a couple hours at a time. Up and down, finally morning came – time for breakfast. Breakfast was so fun! It was truly a blend of east and west. Congee to waffles.
The hotel had a pavilion were they were selling very expensive carvings – had to look. Love the teeny details! Being here has brought back so many memories from Singapore. The hotel lobby smell was familiar. So many little things trigger little memories – it’s fun!
We walked down to the Little Family Mart and bought some water for the day, and then headed to the train station with Ashley and our driver, Mr. Wang. I’m so grateful that was all set up. No worries at all. We gave Mr. Wang his tip and he headed out. Ashley was so kind and stayed with us until we boarded the train.
We loved the train! We had nice big seats and watched the countryside. The train travels at 200 mph, but it is so smooth. Highly recommended! We bought a lunch on the train. It’s really mind boggling how many people live here! There are huge apartment buildings like these everywhere!
Hefei!!! So exciting! We meet our new guide, Ding, and our new driver. Ding wasted no time telling us all of our next steps – tomorrow we meet Kai at the Civil Affairs office! Tomorrow!! We got to our hotel and got checked in and then headed off to exchange our USD for RMB. We’ll need it in the next couple of days. After our money exchange, we headed back to our hotel room for a nap. The fact that I can’t sleep more than three hours at a time was catching up with me – hard!
At 6PM, we ventured back out. Our hotel is right by the famous walking street – basically a street that comes alive with stalls and wares to be sold. There are permanent commercial stores and then there are “stalls” for lack of a better word. We were the ONLY white people we saw the entire evening – it was so fun! I loved watched the little families with their babies and little kids, there were tons of couples everywhere. It was just fun to get out and see things and explore.
Some of the sites: Just had to get a picture of KFC, since it’s headquartered in Louisville :) This menu was a bit different than the one down the street from my house :)
I thought these filled balloons with lights were so cute!
Had to check out McDonald’s for Joy – a different menu BTW :)
You can find so many different things here – these are all treats from Russia!
Another Hot Pot – I love searing hot pot, it says. Shopkeepers had speakers advertising their products – another layer of noise :)
Jason saw three different apple stores. We thought that was funny.
And this sign – bad photo – no fire crackers :)
Food on sticks everywhere!
Need some bling?
We also bought some mango – so good!! I LOVED watching the children :)
(heading back to our hotel) – (cars and scooters park everywhere, our hotel, beautiful bridge)
We stopped for dinner at Noodle and Chopsticks – so yummy!
Braised Beef Noodle Soup and Coke (a Chinese Christmas Coke )
Tomorrow is the big day!!!