china – from beijing to lhasa, tibet – across the roof of the world

travelling by train across the roof of the world is well, interesting. it began by buying all the goodies you could carry (in addition to my 18 kg backpack).  once aboard the train, it was necessary to haul said goodies and backpack up 7 1/2 feet to the storage area at the foot of my bunk.   without the help from my roommate Chris, it would have been impossible.

did i say that i was 5’2″?  without any ladders it was a challenge to climb up without scandalizing my lovely below-bunk chinese neighbours, who, i must admit were very tolerant of my climbing escapades.

breakfast began at 7:00 with a corn/rice gruel, a fat sticky bun and something similar to baloney.  after a sleepless night of listening to the locomotive strain to pull the wagons up to the highest plateau in the world, we sat by the window and tried to decide if we were hungry enough to tackle breakfast.

the night before we left, i managed to visit a hutong in beijing.  here is a wiki definition of a hutong:

  • Hutongs (simplified Chinese胡同traditional Chinese衚衕pinyinhútòng) are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated with BeijingChina. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.[1] Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods. Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.

i got up early before breakfast 😀 and went for a walk with my camera.  everyone was either working or having their breakfast. most were friendly and loved to pose for the camera! (although as a street photographer i prefer to capture people unawares…)