We are only eating two meals a day, morning and evening. The first day still in England, we had to train Roger as he typically doesn't eat breakfast. Well, by late afternoon Roger was eating anything he could get his hands on. Yes, his little finger on his right hand is now missing. He is now eating breakfast.
Sorry for using the initials KfK yesterday. It stands for Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe. How's that for a good German word? It means Nuclear Research Center Karlsruhe. It is operated by the University of Karlsruhe, one of the best technical university in Germany. read more »
We arrived at Heathrow, and made our way (via immigration – a border crossing that took no time at all with our British passports) to the baggage collection area. Mine and Amir’s turned up quite quickly. Dave and Stuart’s didn’t (I found out from them later that it never turned up at all.)
We said our goodbyes to them, headed out and were met by my younger brother. He drove us to Walthamstow where I said my goodbyes to him and Amir, and I then drove myself home to my wife, in time for dinner.
The airport is huge. Easily the largest building I have ever been in, and as modern a place as exists anywhere in the world. The contrast between here and Ulaan Baatar airport was stark – it really felt like stepping into another world.
We had been told that we didn’t need a visa to leave the airport and the idea was to have a look around Beijing before we caught our flight the following morning. So we booked a hotel close to the airport, checked in, and then just decided to sleep. We woke up the next morning, headed back to the airport and caught our flight back to London. read more »
Our flight to Beijing was for18:30. Dave and Stuart were also on the same flight as us, and on the same flight back to the UK. Matt was hanging around in Ulaan Baatar for a week before taking the Siberian Express to Moscow.
We checked out of the Kempinski and headed down to the airport just after 1pm as we expected the traffic to be horrendous. It was pretty bad, despite only half the cars being allowed on the roads, but we still arrived close to 3pm. The check in desks weren’t open so we decided to get some food whilst we waited. There was one restaurant at the airport, and they served grilled sandwiches and pot noodles. The airport is not very modern.
We went to the charity offices and transferred the car over to them.
It was finally done.
With another team, we climbed into a Range Rover and Ariguun drove us the 20 miles to one of the charity projects. It took two hours due to the traffic. Sunday is a day where all cars were allowed on the roads.
The project was called the book house, and was a small building where local children would come to learn. They were taught stuff on the school curriculum, as well as English, and crafts such as jewellery making. There were about 15 kids there when we turned up. read more »
My wife Farzana had somehow managed to convince the Kempinski hotel in Ulaan Baatar to give us two complimentary rooms for three nights. The day we arrived was the only day they couldn’t accommodate us, so we had stayed in a different hotel. The next morning we checked into the Kempinski.
We’d changed our booking from two rooms for three nights to three rooms for two nights, so MDS could have a triple room.
The Kempinski was lovely. Not as good as the one in Baku – it didn’t have a pool – but really luxurious. My bed was huge. read more »