Learning how to eat edamame in Wuhan, China  

Today we had to wake up early to get the train from Nanjing to Wuhan. We didn’t want to repeat the mad rush of our last train journey so aimed to be at the train station 30 minutes early (so by 8.30am).

After getting ready in the dark and packing away our final bits and pieces we were ready to check out of our room by 7.30am. Stopping to pick up some prepared melon, bananas and water on route to the metro station we made it to the train station by 8.25 (plenty of time!)

The train to Wuhan
Nanjing station it is actually really well organised. First class go to zone A and second class go to zone B. From there we were called to the platform a few minutes before the train arrived and could find our correct carriage easily because the numbers were written on the platform floor to correspond with your ticket- we need this in England!
On the train we were seated in a set of four chairs (two seats facing each other) with a shared window. Leah and I wanted to see out of the window as the views were really nice but the boys that we were sharing with kept closing the blind. To compromise I made a little mechanism (below) that I was really proud of and meant that we all got what we wanted! George Borg I hope you’re proud ha!

The train journey went pretty quickly. If the dried sweet potato I was eating and views didn’t distract me then everyone else on the train did. Especially the family sitting next to us, they had the cutest baby ever! She was so wiggly and happy the whole train journey!

Off the train and onto Wuhan
After our 3 and a half hour train journey we had to get the metro to our hotel (3 trains away plus a 15 minute walk). When we arrived at the 7 Days Inn (similar to a holiday inn) we were greeted by all of the reception staff on the sidewalk and a cloud of dust/ fumes coming from inside the hotel.
We asked to see our rooms before we actually checked in because the fumes were so overwhelming in the reception area that there was no way that it would be safe to sleep if our rooms smelt the same. Luckily they were fine. The room was actually really nice and we had a huge queen sized bed as well as a private bathroom and AC!
After heading back downstairs to check in properly and pay for our nights stay we were on the look out for somewhere to eat for lunch. It was just after 3pm by the time we found somewhere to eat and we were starving by the time we sat down to a table. We’d barely passed any restaurants since leaving our hotel and one seemed to be pretty busy so went there. It was a Crayfish restaurant with only a Chinese menu! Luckily there was a girl in there who spoke English and she translated the whole menu for us!
We ordered noodles (we thought they were plain but they came up in a thick peanut sauce), chilli edamame beans and lotus flowers. No crayfish. The individual dishes were really tasty! It’s just a shame that they didn’t really go together. Chilli, peanut and floral is not a very good mix!

We actually had a bit of a mare with the edamame beans… They came in their pods in the chilli sauce so we assumed they came ready to be eaten. After about 10-15 pods each, commenting about how hard the skin of the pods were, a waitress came over to our table and mimed the action of popping out the beans and eating them – we weren’t meant to be eating the pods at all!

After lunch we were fuelled and ready to walking along Wuhan’s bund. It was really hot out and there wasn’t many people walking in the park adjacent so it was really quiet! Leah thought it seemed a bit eerie because of how deserted it was but it seemed quite peaceful to me.

As we walked further long we saw lots of fitness equipment lined up alongside the trees – I made a mental note of where to return for my run tomorrow morning. We also stumbled upon an outdoor swimming pool just off the main pathway in the park. It was rammed! We only really noticed it because of the noise coming from behind the trees! This was obviously where everyone had been hiding today….
We carried on walking along the promenade and found a really cute river side bar at the end of the pathway. The bar had two rows of wooden swinging chairs and an amazing view of the river below. We ordered a cold beer each and sat watching the swimmers near by – they were swimming against the current with orange floats attached to them which seemed to be adding more resistance.

After our beer we walked back to our hotel room, checking out restaurant menus as we passed by, looking for a place to try our for dinner. We’d had such a fun afternoon and I don’t know if it was just the good atmosphere or the beer that we’d just had but we actually felt like we were on holiday – and not travelling on a budget for the next 51 weeks. With this mindset we decided to have a really nice holiday type evening….

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