A couple of relaxing days in Xiamen
26.12.2011 - 29.12.2011
Although the first day was cloudy, it was still warm enough not to have to wear a coat! After having a short wander around the busy and crowded (well it is China after all!) streets of Xiamen town centre, for a little bit of peace the ferry across to Gulangyu Island seemed like the best option.
Meandering through the main streets, towards the quieter parts of the island, I felt more and more like I was in a James Bond movie set.Charming Mediterranean-style villas stood cheerfully, each one different in shape, style and colour. Park areas with perfectly arranged tropical trees. Clear narrow winding streets with sharp corners (perfect for a motorbike chase scene). Lush semi-tropical greenery, pastel coloured villas...peaceful...quiet...this wasn't China!! Surely I have been transported to the Med?!
The next day was warmer than the first, so a trip to the beach was first on the agenda. After walking for 10 minutes down the street I realised that for the first time on my trip it was too warm for trainers! Heading back to the hostel I dug down into the depths of my rucksack, rummaging around, eventually I pulled out...my sandals! Finally my feet could breathe.
Along Xiamen beach is a board-walk which stretches from the University for about the equivalent of a 3 hour (leisurely)stroll. It was still not warm enough for sun-bathing, but walking along part of the Chinese coast was just what I needed. The sea was luke warm, just enough to dip your toes in. The coastal wind was warm, the sounds of the sea were refreshing, the sun on my face was revitalizing.