Every time I told people that on my way back to Europe I will spend one night in Beijing, they laughed and said: “Oh, do you know that this also is a famous song?”
So here it is:
I left the house early. Carry walked with me to the train station and we had breakfast on the way.
When I arrived at the airport, it had begun to rain.
When I landed in Beijing the sky was clear, the sun was just about to set.
I had booked a hotel very near the airport for € 27. With the help of the English speaking lady at the airport’s tourist information, I arranged for the hotel’s airport shuttle.
The hotel was indeed near the airport, as the pictures show. But this airport is very wide spread and scattered. It took nearly half an hour by car to get to the hotel.
The hotel has a really impressive entrance hall with very heavy solid, carved wood interior. Next to the reception desk is a Koi-pond and in the lobby I saw two (presumably) buddhist altars or shrines. In front of each there was a considerable amount of money piled up. I would have loved to ask a hundred questions, but the receptionist did not speak any English and above that she was just occupied with her cell phone and appeared totally uninterested in any conversation .
My 6th floor room was spacious, clean and window could be opened wide. The heavy wooden furniture was chipped, the ornimental wall paper coming off, the heavy carpet faded …
Obviously, this hotel had seen much, much better days. Perhaps a very prestigous place in the past, it now finds itself located between runway, highway and taxi parking lot.
Just below my window were some kind of barracks with the taxi dispatcher’s office facing the hotel side. Taking a walk later in the evening, I discovered in the back of it a little store (very, very little, about living room size) where I obtained a couple of cold beers for the night and some instant noodle soup for dinner.
The old woman who ran the store was very amused about me wearing flip flops. We had a good laugh, not knowing each others’ language, but well understanding what we were talking about. (Well, I did not anticipate temperatures of 6°C below zero and my “real” shoes were in my checked baggage)
Next morning I took an early walk about the neighborhood, which consisted of the taxi parking lot, the barracks which in its rear also housed some sort of diner or canteen (probably mainly used by the taxi drivers at break) and a walkway along the street leading to the terminal.
Here some pictures:
About noon I took the shuttle back to the airport.