The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Shanghai Day 1 - "The Highland Dance Company of NZ takes on China" - 9th Sep 2012

Shanghai Day 1 - "Day 1 of our latest adventure has been a resounding success. After negotiating check-in in Auckland - no mean feat when we are travelling as a group of 29 along with 2 full-to-the-brim suitcases of costumes, not to mention the 3 swords.... - we were all excited to be embarking on another amazing trip.

The journey was remarkably uneventful - noone lost any belongings, and we (mostly) all managed to get a few zzzs on the 12 hour flight over to Shanghai. Unfortunately, accompanying us on the flight were a few screaming infants. Those of us with earplugs were definitely the envy of the plane!

Shanghai airport was our first taste of China. From the moment we stepped off the plane into the humid heat, to the instant we walked through the arrivals gate and saw shop after shop with crabs tied up in the front windows, we knew we were in for an experience to be remembered! While at Shanghai airport some of us learnt some Mandarin phrases from friendly locals, some of us took advantage of the massaging chairs in the lounges, while others chose this time to savour some sweet treats. Thankfully the stopover before departing for Beijing was only a few hours (nothing like the challenging itinery we had going to Virginia earlier in the year!) and we were on our final league of the journey in no time.

On our arrival to Beijing we were greeted by the lovely smiling face of our tour guide for the next 5-6 days, Jacky Wan. What he doesn't know about Beijing isn't worth knowing! He shared some of his wealth of knowledge during the bus ride in to our hotel, including some handy hints on how not to get scammed by the local market vendors. We were all a bit daunted by some of the stories he told of other tourists downfalls!

After a long days travel, we ventured out for a Chinese dinner to celebrate our arrival. We are realising that mime is a fantastic communication tool when spoken language fails us! We are all well and truly ready for a long sleep to prepare ourselves for the excitement that beckons. Tomorrows agenda - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Peking Duck. Wow we can't wait!

Kylie and Sara

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The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing Inc., PO Box 5470, Palmerston North
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