Shanghai – Nanjing: 134.50¥
Two days, One night.
In November, I made a long weekend trip an hour and a half from the Big City to Nanjing along with some girls here at Fudan University.
GIRLS ON TOUR
The great thing about travelling with friends is that, even if things go a bit awry, any unfortunate catastrophe makes a pretty good anecdote when you’re putting your feet up at the end of the day. Come rain, dubiously timetabled buses, or our dodgy foreigner’s Chinese, we managed to power through a with a whirlwind tour of Nanjing.
As a testament to the trip’s success, all six of us girls are still friends.
Not bad, eh?
TOUR TOUR TOUR
Being November, it was drizzly, splashy and rainy for our second trip to the Jiang Su province, having been in Suzhou not long before. We made the best of our two day trip in Nanjing and split our time into a day on the Purple Gold Mountain tourist trail and a day for the City.
紫金山 // Purple Gold Mountain
Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty
Sun-Yet Sen Sun-Yet Sen Mausoleum
It’s a long hike from the bottom of the mountain to base of the Sun-Yet Sen Mausoleum where a dizzying set of stairs lead the way to the memorial building, but the road is packed. Nothing like getting overtaken by Chinese grannies on a crisp Autumn stair-master challenge.
Although I may be some six thousand miles from home, something about the cool, clammy air in the mountains, the heavy foliage and falling leaves, walking with my backpack, and speaking English gives me the strongest feeling of home – of drizzling Northern Irish weather and Sunday walks with the family.
Purple Gold Mountain, though, has the most gorgeous yellow trees that line the paths and spray them with delicate, fan-shaped leaves, and now and then, we stumble across some Chinese architecture amongst the trees.
Probably better than your average day Sunday walk.
Sights: Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum
For our day in Nanjing City, the weather takes a turn for the worse and we head to the foreboding structure of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum for the morning. It’s a dense exhibit, and here and there between it’s visceral images and personal accounts, tiny old men and women cry silently as they walk. It’s a harrowing visit, and by the end of it all, we’re a fairly tired bunch.
Can hardly visit Nanjing without seeing this museum.
SLEEPS & EATS
Bars: Brewsell’s, Ellens
025 5188 5858
At night, we take a jaunt around the intersection of Guangzhou Rd. and Shanghai Rd. for some post-touristing drinks, popping into Ellens, the local grimy Helen’s knock-off which is jammed full of local students, and quickly leaving to Brewsell’s pub round the corner for an Expat atmosphered beer (or Amaretto and Coke for me – the first I’ve seen in China).
This fabulously dressed Germanic-looking gentleman sits at the bar, which probably makes my evening.
In amongst our sight-seeing, there are a fair few exciting meals from the strange noodle breakfasts, the traditional lazy Susan lunches and, ashamedly, a desperation-fuelled Starbucks. Of course, my rucksack was constantly crammed with the odd snack to keep me occupied.
(It’s better for everyone if I’m kept well nourished, trust me.)
As for sleeps, we nabbed a clean, six-person dorm, albeit slightly out of the way, in a hostel that featured smack bang in the middle of 1865创意园, a Creative Technology and Design Park.
Nanjing, you were great.