|Perfecting the sweaty pose!|
Y is for Yashow Clothing Market in Beijing
Now, unsurprisingly for me, I’ve already written at length about the shopping in Beijing. But obviously I still needed to tick off Y and in the name of completing a challenge (no other reason, honest!) I headed to Yashow market. What I love about this place, which is five floors of shoes, handbags, jackets, skirts, t-shirts and every sort of Chinese-themed souvenir you could possibly think of, is that it is just down the road from all of the fancy shops and is probably more popular than all of them put together. The other brilliant thing is that there is a beauty floor at the top of the building, so after a hard day’s shopping you can always treat yourself to a foot massage.
|A little bit of retail therapy, all in the name of completing a challenge. Obviously.|
Z is for Zhangzizhonglu subway station in Beijing
I’m not going to lie, the alphabet challenge was probably one of the most difficult to complete of the entire trip. It sounded really easy when I added it to the list – 26 places beginning with letters of the alphabet in nine months. Not a problem. Except it is a problem when you have to do them in order and in South America you realise that getting to the next town, which begins with the letter you need, is an eight hour bus ride away and that in Burma and China they use a totally different alphabet to us and when translated some of our letters don’t even exist!
So it really was cutting it fine when on my last day I set out on the subway to find Zhangzizhonglu. But it felt like a nice way to end the challenge. I really loved the subway in Beijing. It’s so easy to use and is, surprisingly, often far less congested than our own lovely Underground.
It was also something fun to do on the final day of my trip. Even though it hasn’t always been easy, this was a good challenge to do as it often forced me to go to places I hadn’t been planning to visit.
Looking back on it now, every letter has a memory attached to it: walking miles across Yangon in the blazing heat to get a photo of Kandawgi Lake; getting ridiculously excited when I found Emily Creek in New Zealand and getting lost in Dolavon in Argentina. And, as is often the way with travelling, I ended up having many adventures along the way that I hadn’t been expecting.
|Z is for Zhangzizhonglu – #28 completed, just in time!|