1st May, 2014
Finally we are home again. On the last day we went exploring between the hotel and Tiananman Square and found some interesting old buildings with loads of character selling silks, clothes, jewellery and musical instruments. We also came across demolition sites and new grey brick functional shops lacking the character of the old ones. The pollution levels were rising so it was a good time to get out of Beijing. The taxi to the airport cost 140 yuan (about $23). We flew with Dragon Air to Hong Kong but were a little worried as it was an hour late taking off and we only had a 55 minute window to catch our flight to Sydney. It made up for lost time but we were in the second back row which meant we were the last to get off. We and several others were met by an official who raced us through the airport to what seemed like the other end. This wasn’t before our bags were checked twice. Once on the plane we relaxed but it too was late taking off. We hoped there had been time to get our luggage on board. We caught up on some movies – Twelve Years a Slave, Captain Phillips and The Monuments Men. After breakfast we both watched half of Nebraska which we really enjoyed so we will definitely get the video when we get home.
As we feared, the luggage did not turn up in Sydney. We were assured it would be sent to Wollongong by courier as soon as it arrived. At least we were travelling light! One stop to Wolli Creek, a train to North Wollongong and a Uni shuttle bus to the car park and it was a five minute walk to home.