Running & park play
This morning I ran along the Wuhan bund to the fitness area that I saw yesterday. It was 7am, 30+ degrees out, and almost every single bit of gym apparatus was in use!
It seemed that I had the same idea as everyone else in Wuhan- work out early to avoid the midday heat (although it reaches 32-34 degrees here by 10am). Although I couldn’t do the work out that I had planned in my head, I was mesmerised watching everyone- slowing my run to a walk as I passed by the main area.
After a few hundred metres I spotted a set of free parallel bars and made a bee-line for them. After doing a few dips and leg raises the pull up bar became free so I transitioned to that. I started sharing the pull up bar with an old man (who must’ve been at least 70!) who started doing muscle ups with ease – a move in not get able to do! I was in awe! As I was working out a group of park maintenance guys shouted out ‘hello’ as they passed and I was asked by a women why I wasn’t whiter. I’ve gotten pretty dark on this trip already and we’ve only been a way a week so I’m not sure what colour I’ll be when I return to England next year…
After popping into wallmart for breakfast (bananas and peaches) we got back on the metro and made our way to the 1911 revolution museum.
Although the there was a lot of propaganda and censorship, the museum was actually really interesting! There was lots of photographs and maps, as well as the odd exhibit showcasing various historical events such as when treaties were signed between the China and ‘the west’. There was also lots of information on the Chinese socialist party’s rise to power.
The museum visit turned into another mini photo shoot with a family (see below) and I felt a little blinded from the flash!
After walking around the site for a little while we were even happier that we didn’t spend any money on entering. Some of the building were really interesting and had large statues and exhibits inside, but the majority of the area was a building site. Due to the haphazardness of the area it made us question the authenticity of the temple and put a bit of a downer on the experience.
We’d been really excited to try out the vegetarian restaurant next to the temple so hoped that it wouldn’t disappoint. The restaurant is famed for its fake meat so we ordered it stir fried with bamboo shoots and other vegetables, alongside vegetable dumplings, green vegetables and some rice to share. Everything was really tasty except the fake meat- it tasted like vegetarian sausages…
Next we got the metro to the public swimming pool and went for a little dip to cool off- by now the temperature was 36 degrees! We didn’t realise how much we stuck out until we got to the pool and everyone looked at us. Instead of bikinis, girls and women here wear bikini tops/ tankinis with frilly swimming skirts or dresses, whereas we just rocked up in plain black bikinis. Everything about women in China seems a lot more feminine so far than western girls (especially leah and I on this trip). Some guys actual got out the pool to get their phone, took a photo of us, put their phone back and then got in the pool – a game of spot the white girls will probably be played later (similar to where’s wolly).
We had to get out of the pool by 5pm so got out at 4.30pm to dry off in the sun. As we were sitting poolside lots of children turned up for their swimming lesson and they were so small! They were made to run around the pool area twice as part of the warm up and lots of the youngest/ smallest ones were really running fast and looked exhausted at the end!
After swimming we went back to the hotel room to get ready for dinner and then walked back to the promenade for a while. It was just as busy and buzzing as last night!
We went for dinner in a restaurant that we saw yesterday. It looked really fancy from the outside but the prices were actually really reasonable so after being seated in the centre of the restaurant we ordered quite a bit of food: mixed vegetables with dumplings displayed around the edges (me), greens and rice to share, and beef with greens (leah). The food was really flavoursome yet again!
After dinner we walked back along the promenade and stumbled upon an outdoor cinema in the middle of the park. Lots of people were gathered around watching it as well as the usual hub of people doing their evening activities.
We attempted to walk to the opposite end of the park where there were lots of illuminated kites flying – there was an illuminated jelly fish which looked amazing- but bailed as the park began to empty due to the late hour.
Yes parents, we are keeping safe…