China Report: Nanjing to Yangzhou

December 30, 2007 at 8:51 pm (Overseas Tour) (, , , , )

90 minute tailback - photo: Andy Waddington

The day started well and we set off from Nanjing on schedule. The coaches with NBT on board headed one way out of the hotel and the coach with the Hangzhou Orchestra headed the other! We were 15mins into the journey just passing through central Nanjing on a flyover Expressway and the whole road was stopped. The tail back lasted for 1 hour 30 minutes. By the time we got to the problem it turned out to be a policeman directing traffic from a side road and holding up the expressway. It turned out that today was a public holiday and so it was very busy traffic wise. To add insult to injury the Orchestra driver phoned up and said they had arrived in Yangzhou whilst we were sitting on the flyover!

We finally arrived at 1.15pm the journey having taken twice as long as it should have (memories of Wuxi to Hangzhou here). The hotel had not allocated rooms as requested but had a least split them into singles, doubles and twins. With the second coach arriving 10 minutes after the first everyone was able to check in really quickly. At 2.30pm the Technical department accompanied by the Interpreters walked the 5 minutes to the Grand Theatre. The theatre is very similar to those in Wuxi and Nanjing. Fortunately they had heeded our warning from the experience in Nanjing and the heating was on even for the get in.

The dancers spent the afternoon out and about but Yangzhou is a very flat place and the wind is biting cold so most of them didn’t stay out for long. The City seems to be part of a tremendous building programme and even more than some of the previous cities. Everybody was delighted that the hotel has a wave machine and themed swimming pool or ‘the place of frolicking water’ as the Chinese would call it. Unfortunately they have closed the facility for the Winter! There is also a Spa with sauna and gym etc or ‘the centre of wellbeing’ along with a tenpin bowling alley.

The Technicians finished at 10pm with all the set in position and lights rigged. All set for an early focus tomorrow and then prepare for class at 12.30.

We were given another piece of aggravating news today. Shanghai has the same movement of vehicles restrictions as Beijing so we need to unload the Containers at Midnight on the day of arrival in Shanghai.

Everybody is slightly nervous after today’s coach journey. With the Wuxi to Hangzhou and Nanjing to Yangzhou journeys both taking twice the estimated time it doesn’t bode well for Yangzhou to Shanghai on Tuesday which is scheduled to take 5 hours!!

Inside the Yangzhou Grand Theatre - photo: Andy Waddington

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