Black Country news and blogs Tuesday 18 December 2018
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Desperately Seeking Adventure

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Beyond The City Walls… Datong, China! 

29 Jun 18

Fresh from the Yungang Grottoes, things kept on moving during my second day in Datong, China! The weather in Beijing was bleak but Datong served nothing but sunny skies and warm temperatures, I was in the right place! Still expecting to see four more…

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Datong, China: Shanxi’s Ancient Trophy! 

23 Jun 18

Jetting away to Shanxi Province to see one of its famous cities, going for the ancient delights I was excited to experience my fifth China Highlights tour in Datong during 2018s Dragon Boat Festival! The Hanging Temple and the Yungang Grottoes were …

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Changchun: Culture, Lakes & History! 

23 Apr 18

Feeling a lot less human after the previous nights shenanigans, Changchun had many more things for me to discover.

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China: Changchun’s Japanese Secret… 

10 Apr 18

Changchun had been a place that crossed my path during a bullet train journey from Harbin to Shenyang, a feeling that I would return eventually filled my heart as that train stopped briefly at the city’s West Railway Station in February 2017.

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My Wuhan Withdrawal… 

25 Mar 18

Leaving Wuhan wasn’t a difficult choice but here in my new China life I do feel certain pangs for that Hubei provincial city.

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Weekend Life… Beijing, China! 

23 Mar 18

Straight up, I took my weekends for granted before starting my weekend Montessori teaching course! Trying to salvage what I have of a weekend right now, have I actually been busy or not during my ‘new’ weekend routine? Sanlitun got me on that …

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On The Metro: Beijing’s Line 15! 

22 Mar 18

Going underground in Beijing opened my eyes for sure, beginning on the capital’s vast network at Line 15 it’s been an education compared to my previous experiences in Wuhan! From the suburbs of Shunyi District, discovering Wangjingthen going for gold…

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Xiamen: Art Zones Temples & Fortresses… 

13 Mar 18

2018’s Chinese New Year festivities hadn’t been dull by any measure, Shenzhen and Xiamen had so far thrown tones of shade but their attitudes had been for a reason.

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Shenzhen, China: From Rice Fields To Riches… 

23 Feb 18

During Chinese Spring Festival 2016 I saved my pennies by crossing into Hong Kong via Shenzhen, going over the land border at Luohu was an experience I won’t ever forget but my time in Shenzhen flashed before my eyes.

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Chinese Spring Festival 2017 

22 Feb 18

Spring Festival is undoubtedly the new Christmas for me, after two in China I’m anticipating my third but before that Guangdong and Fujian moment I want to reflect on my sub-zero affair.

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China: Rolling On A River! 

27 Jan 18

Chinese people say that a city only truly has wealth if it has a river running through it or alongside it, I suppose London prospered with the River Thames during the days of the British Empire? Looking at three Chinese waterways will be the mission …

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2017: Something To Remember? 

17 Jan 18

2018’s here now but I would like to evaluate the final quarter of 2017, well to reflect on all of its craziness! My final month in Wuhan during July 2017 might well seem like a world away and the summer trips I took in England were great, it was such…

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48 Hours: Tianjin, China! 

6 Jan 18

2018’s eve gave me the key to unlock three days off from teaching, making my way to Beijing South Railway Station had to be done, that Tianjin high speed train wasn’t going to wait for me! Choosing Beijing’s little sister seemed like the right thing …

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Shunyi District: Strictly Suburban Beijing… 

29 Dec 17

Transferring to Beijing from Wuhan was my number one priority but I had one district that I really didn’t want to be placed in! Closest to Beijing’s current interational airport, Shunyi District somehow became my new home in China after the noise of …

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2016: A Very Yunnan Christmas! 

20 Dec 17

Christmas 2017 is only round the corner, this year I’m shelving any holiday plans so I wanted to cast my mind back to 2016.

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Beijing’s Olympic Dream… 

9 Dec 17

2008 brought China’s first Olympic Games in the country’s showcase capital city, Beijing.

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Beijing, China: Operation Chaoyang! 

1 Dec 17

Touching down into Beijing’s Capital International Airport felt surreal, it was something that I had wanted for ages but I wasn’t ready for the craziness that awaited me! Finding my apartment instantly gave me reassurance and having that WeChat Pay …

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Flying High… Emirates! 

23 Nov 17

Fulfilling a dream I recently flew with Emirates from Birmingham, UK to Beijing, China.

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Notting Hill & Kensington, London 

5 Nov 17

Stepping back into London, Golborne Road became my runway, giving me all kinds of European and North African flavours! Seeing Trellick Tower being fashioned into its next phase for London City living, I had almost everything! Of course Portobello …

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City of London: Cathedrals, Banks & Markets… 

4 Nov 17

London crept back into my life somehow, I had waited three long months to renew my visa to return to China.

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China High Speed Rail: Wuhan – Shanghai! 

24 Oct 17

For a developing country, China’s high speed rail network is quite remarkable, looking at one section that I took at the end of July 2017 brought together one place that I lived in for two years and three others that I have visited.

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Like A Prayer: China & Tibet… 

8 Oct 17

I’m not down for religion as such but I don’t judge someone else’s beliefs, shelving those holy scriptures to one side I do love discovering new places of worship whatever the chosen religious flex.

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Cardiff, Wales: Castles, Bays & Mines… 

3 Oct 17

Living life dangerously I chose Cardiff, Wales for a weekend full of whatever I could find from that UK capital city.

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Historic York 

1 Oct 17

So, York had been on my list for time, being attracted to its historical charm I wanted to see if it was really just a Shambles! Before there was a New York it started with York, representing that former Viking and Roman settlement had to be done …

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Next Stop… Leeds, England! 

7 Sep 17

Beating my post Scotland blues I looked towards Yorkshire to serve something industrial and then historical.

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Back To Birmingham 

2 Sep 17

Birmingham hasn’t been part of my life for some time due to being in Wuhan, China.

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Helensburgh & Loch Lomond, Scotland 

2 Sep 17

So, I hadn’t made any reservations in Glasgow, I was told that I needed to book my flights to Scotland and my friend would sort me out.

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Destination: Glasgow 

1 Sep 17

Glasgow, Scotland called my name! Boarding my flight from Birmingham I touched down into a dreary Glasgow but my China bestie, Fiona was waiting for me at domestic arrivals so it all good.

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2017: No Summertime Sadness! 

15 Aug 17

Summertime during 2017 has so far been busy, mad and worth every second whatever happened during my final month in China and beyond.

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Hubei Province: China’s Central Heart! 

12 Aug 17

Hubei province was my home for over two years as I lived in Wuhan, the provincial capital was exploding before my eyes but I wanted to break out of the city limits to see more of Hubei during my time there.

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China: Cities Off The Radar! 

9 Aug 17

China’s megacities have impressed me much during my time, well I am yet to experience Beijing but that will all change very soon! Shanghai may be a city of neon lights with a skyline to bring down New York City’s performance but I like to go ‘off the…

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Flying High… Aeroflot Russian Airlines 

31 Jul 17

It had been two years or so since I had flown for more than three hours, embarking on my first long haul flight with Aeroflot Russian Airlines was something I had been looking forward to.

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Wuchang: Libraries, Parks & Street Life! 

18 Jul 17

So, it’s safe to say that Wuchang called me back two weeks ago or so, I adore this part of Wuhan city even though its changing.

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Teaching English: Wuhan’s Final Semester… 

9 Jul 17

With regret I announce that my time teaching is coming to a close, with my departure back to the United Kingdom growing closer I want to look back over the last six months.

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The Nanchang Weekender! 

29 Jun 17

China has given me so much to be thankful for the last two years, remaining within its vast mainland I have visited cities regardless of their size or popularity.

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Enchanted Enshi 

17 Jun 17

As the clock ticks before my departure back to England I wanted to explore the city of Enshi, Hubei.

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Next Stop… Hefei, China! 

2 Jun 17

Located in central China I was attracted to Hefei because it’s not a mega-city, but a growing city that’s got a lot of competition from its neighbours.

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On The Metro: Wuhan Metro, Line 4 

27 May 17

Line 4 of the Wuhan Metro will be the final of my Wuhan inspired ‘On The Metro’ blog theme, the network keeps on expanding so who knows what the future might bring? Anyway, stretching from Wuhan Railway Station all the way to Huangjinkou, it’s safe …

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Lhasa, Tibet: Temples, Pilgrims & Palaces 

21 May 17

Lhasa kept giving me everything but the dizzying altitude had sent me sick, waking up with what felt like a hangover and a nosebleed I hadn’t paid all that money to rest! Dosed up with a handful of un-named tablets and a bottle of oxygen I was set …

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Lhasa, Tibet: Like A Prayer… 

17 May 17

Refreshed from my train journey from Lanzhou I was ready to begin my Lhasa city tour.

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Lhasa, Tibet: Heaven On Earth! 

13 May 17

Tibet was the big one, the trip that almost didn’t happen, through the craze of cancellations I made my two day journey to the Tibet Autonomous Region from Wuhan, China at the end of last month.

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Wuhan: Hankou’s Calling! 

27 Apr 17

Hankou was calling, trading a weekend on the booze to be cultured.

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Hangzhou: Lakes, Pavilions & Tea Plantations… 

13 Apr 17

Waking up to a new day in Hangzhou, I was more than ready for my third China Highlights tour that would take me to the best sights in town! From the idyllic views over West Lake to lunch at Chenghuang Pavilion I was in for a royal treat, I even had …

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Hangzhou: The First 24 Hours! 

9 Apr 17

With the second semester of my second year teaching English underway the Spring Festival break seemed much longer than February, with the arrival of April signified another national holiday to enjoy.

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On The Metro: Wuhan Metro, Line 1 

30 Mar 17

Spanning a great distance from Hankou North to Dongwu Avenue, Line 1 of the Wuhan Metro gets me to where I need to go.

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2014-2017: The Road To China… 

27 Mar 17

After graduating with honours I was not prepared for the journey ahead of me, taking a road less travelled before wasn’t easy but what really is in this life? In honour of this 300th blog post that marks six years of blogging, I want to see how life …

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Shenyang’s Korean Connection… 

12 Mar 17

Striding back to my hotel the next morning feeling slightly worse for wear, my second full day of sightseeing wasn’t going to be wasted! Refreshed from the night before I got back out to discover Shenyang’s city sights, feeling tender I had three …

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Serving Up… Shenyang, China! 

11 Mar 17

Shenyang called me, leaving Harbin West Railway Station by high speed train on the last day of January 2017 I was ready to see my second ‘off the radar’ city in China! I didn’t have a plan, I merely knew of a few places that I could potentially see …

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Harbin: Snow Sculptures, Siberian Tigers & Ice Festivals… 

28 Feb 17

Harbin was serving everything that I wanted and more during that Spring Festival 2017 trip, I was just about to embark on my private tour that would take me to three of Harbin’s most famous sights.

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Harbin’s Frozen Riverside… 

23 Feb 17

Harbin tested me beyond the point of crazy, the weather plummeted down to a toe-curling minus twenty-six degrees below freezing.

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