Saturday, 5 June 2010


Monday 31 May: A wealthy modern high-rise city, China's fifth-largest, I should hate the place but, surprisingly, I rather like it. Wide leafy boulevards complete with cycle paths, clean spacious pavements and more blossoming flower tubs than you can wave a geranium at. Also, the people in their smart city clothes, are laid-back, friendly and helpful - I've not seen short-skirted long-legged girls for some time. It has pubs, bars, large stores like Wall-mart, Auchen and, surprisingly, IKEA. On the downside there are the usual fast-food chains.
The Traffic Inn is comfortable and friendly. I've been two or three miles above sea level for more than a month and today I can run up two flights of hotel stairs without becoming breathless - this is why athletes train at altitude.
Tuesday 1 June: Mao's statue, Tian Fu Square and Wenshu Monastery in the morning. A stroll through People's Park in the afternoon and the Shamrock bar in evening.
Wednesday 2: I'm on a mission to Carrefour supermarket where, like a child in a sweet shop, I snap up beer, English beer, cheaper than at home, Great Wall dry red wine, Cheddar cheese, American Cheddar but I'll make do, an authentic French stick and Danish Blue cheese - I haven't tasted blue cheese for nearly a year. I party.
Thursday 3: A real highlight - The Giant Panda Research Base is unmissable and the Pandas really are cute. But Pandas don't actually do very much. When they are not sleeping they like nothing better than laying on their backs and munching bamboo, and that's it. There's not much nutrition in bamboo. The cubs are a little more animated than the adult bears - they move quicker and like to climb trees. At £100 per minute I decline the offer to hug a baby Panda, I ask - but they don't do hugging for two seconds! - its a good day out.
Photos of Chendu.

No comments:

Post a Comment