Saturday 23rd October 2010
Night on train passed without incident. We did have a bit of a drama over the bedding this morning. We thought we were being our usual helpful selves and removed the pillowcases, duvet cover etc. The attendants came and set to replacing them while we had to stand out in the corridor like naughty schoolchildren. Yes, I remember it well!
Gerry, our transport guide was waiting at the barrier for us, just like clockwork. He spoke excellent English and told us about the city on the 30 minute drive to the city centre. It has a population of 33 million but is relatively compact because it is surrounded by hills. Unlike Xian and Beijing bicycles and rickshaws are banned in the city centre. It gives everything a far more ordered feeling.
Because we are to be here 2 full days although only one night we chose a 5 star hotel. We expected it to be about the same as a 4 star at home. It isn't. It is very much a 5 star - some would say it's much too posh for the likes of us! We love it. Definitely the Wow factor. After trains etc a little luxury is just wonderful.
The hotel is right in the centre with cafes, bars etc close by. It is beside a huge shopping mall that you can enter directly from the hotel. The 6th and 7th floors are given over to restaurants. We had a lovely lunch - with wine!and will go back for dinner in a few minutes.
We had planned to spend the afternoon in the pool, steam and sauna. On investigation we discovered you needed a cap for the pool and the sauna and steam rooms were segregated. We decided against it.
Our only hitch so far is today. We were expecting a message to tell us which pier our boat goes from tomorrow. No message and it's the weekend so we'll have to find out for ourselves. No big deal. We can do that.