these are the posts tagged ‘china’:

mother’s day

in portugal, mother’s day was a week ago – but only now it reaches the rest of the world :) which means we get to celebrate it twice! today we went to the park with a mama friend and her cute kid!

lovely day, lovely park and a lovely surprise: the baby (& momma) got used to the sling we gave them when she was born last year! the first experience with it was a bit disastrous and we thought it would never be used it again… but actually, lulu says both she and her mom use it quite regularly now!

b.’s grandma takes her to the market in her sling everyday, and to the inquisitive looks she gets, she explains it’s a modern & european thing… :)

i love the concept of the sling – an uncomplicated piece of fabric that holds your baby safe and close to you. in portugal, they were made popular by the talented hands of rosa pomar, who also makes unique and beautiful dolls that make babies (and grownups!) happy all around the world. :)

with her feet dangling off the sling

marienbad café

i always have trouble spelling cappuccino. 2 sequences of 2 p’s and 2 c’s? that’s just asking for trouble. plus, i don’t know of many decent cappuccinos in shanghai (it’s not you, mr. barista, it’s the coffee you use).

now, meet this cappuccino:
my cappuccino

a real work of beauty, isn’t it? look, look:
p.'s latte

*happy sigh*

also, there are milkshakes, some pastas, paninis and other simple things. and a cat. oh, and pizzas. with carrots in it.
salami pizza

salami pizza

all mingled in a strange bohemian/cozy decoration, that you don’t see too often around here. the ceiling is wallpapered with newspapers that have gone yellow, the cat has scratched all the sofas…
marienbad café

marienbad café

and yet, it feels right. i believe i could spend my days here, marveling at the photography books and magazines they have, working quietly, enjoying the soft brazilian music, patting the cat and sipping cappuccinos.

tired of the sterile cafés in shanghai too? the marienbad is on 55 wukang road (but really, it’s on the beginning of anfu road). enjoy!

the great wall

naturally, we couldn’t go to beijing without walking on the great wall!

following a tip from dingle, i investigated the possibility of doing the stretch between jinshaling and simatai… 10kms on the wall sounds like a bit too much, but in the end we decided to just go for it instead of the manicured & ever-crowded wall in badaling. if we were going all the way north, might as well make it memorable!

so i searched around for ways to get there (about 3 hours from beijing), and stumbled upon jeff, a really nice couchsurfer in beijing who regularly organizes trips to people who want to go there. if you tell him you want to go there, he might know of other people going there on the same day – the driver’s fee is 450rmb for the car – the more people, the less you pay. meet our driver, mr. pei (13161847160):
mr. pei

mr. pei is a cheerful chap, knows a bit of english and is eager to use it! he dropped us in jinshaling and was waiting for us in simatai as promised – no driving the foreigners to fishy places to shop or eat, whatsoever.

the chinese say the wall is like a dragon stretching over the mountain tops, and i couldn’t come up with a better comparison if i tried.

the jinshaling-simatai trek takes about 4 hours. 4 hours of nearly vertical climbs…

…and descents…

… of watchtowers lined up…

…some of which in precarious conditions…

…with some caution signs…

…of neatly lined up steps…

…or caotic and hard to walk ones (or sometimes even on parallel paths to the wall)…

… 4 hours of feeling on top of the world…

… and then asking ourselves if we had the guts to actually finish this adventure…

but we made it, 4 hours, 4 bottles of water and 90rmbs later! (50+40 entrance fees for the different parts of the wall)! yay!

paulo took his gps with him and mapped the walk, and in the end it turns out the total is closer to 6km (from parking lot to parking lot). still, good exercise and magnificent views! if you’re in shape, i highly recommend it. :)

beijing food!

i bet you were all thinking i was going to talk about beijing duck… et non! i introduce you the donghuamen night market!
donghuamen night market

lots of variety!

i believe we were lost or looking for something else when we stumbled on the donghuamen street market… but we were instantly converted, and came back every day at dinner. food is one of the (main) reasons we travel, and so it was impossible to resist the temptation!

here’s how the tested snacks ranked, according to the “yummy or meh” classification:

crunchy yellow thing

crunchy dry yellow thing: meh. quite tasteless, and hard to eat with the mini-sticks they gave us!

meat in bread

stewed meat on bread bun: yummy! this was excellent! perfectly spiced & stewed, with lots of fresh herbs, and lots of sauce from the stew.


squid: meh, not that good. the sauce they covered it on was a bit too sweet for our liking…

fluffy fried balls with sugar

fried “banana” balls: yummy! but banana? these things tasted nothing like banana! a fluffy favourite nonetheless :)

meat thing on pancake wrap

meat on wrap: meh. not good.

pinnaple and giant strawberries

strawberry/pineapple stick: yummy yummy yummy! those strawberries were gigantic and thus a little lacking in flavor, but the pineapple is sooo tasty… it more than makes up for the rest. you can also have these in other combos (just strawberries, strawberry/melon, strawberry/kiwi…).

meat on a stick

meat kebab: yummy! although we didn’t quite get which kind of meat it was, but probably lamb. very tender.

there were also lots of strange things, like snakes, starfish, sea horses or crickets… they must be popular among foreigners, since all the vendors waved them at us… but i’m not that much of a fan.

donghuamen night market, beijing from ana campos on Vimeo.

that’s it! i would highly recommend this place if you want to taste a bit of everything, and i have to say my belly had absolutely no complaints (this being street food and all).

a little advice though: more than 20rmb is probably too much for anything here, so raise an eyebrow and be ready to speak out if they ask you for more than that. don’t be dumb.

the forbidden city

the forbidden city and tiananmen square are two of beijing’s obligatory stops, and we reserved an afternoon for them. it felt strange to actually stand there for the first time, knowing of the historical significance of the place. it felt more serious than just a place to snap a few photos.
tiananmen square

by then the clouds had mostly cleared and so the next few pictures are a mix of blue, red and gold. the forbidden city is a magnificent palace complex (the world’s largest) where china’s emperors used to live up until 1912. the buildings have curious names like east glorious gate, hall of supreme harmony, hall of preserving harmony, halls of literary glory and military eminence, palaces of heavenly purity and earthly tranquility…

people watching

i guess this is what comes to mind when many people think of china, the country’s picture postcard. it’s beautiful and grand, filled nonetheless with little (and big) details i loved:
wall detail

roof detail

wall detail

now i feel like go and watch the last emperor again…