Checking into the 'Hilford' hotel in Xiamen
That hotel name sounds familiar, right?
After a long day on it's time to drop off the backpacks of clothes and such we've been lugging around all day, and check in to our hotel at last! The hotel had some extravagant carvings painted an impressive gold colour -
|The Hilto-.... I mean the Hilford hotel in Xiamen!|
After we argued ourselves better rooms (better than the initial ones, directly next door to reception and the popular tea room area), we managed to get a very quick rest to get changed after the long day on Gulangyu.
Travel to the Chinese restaurant
We then somehow managed to hail some taxi's, and after working out where we were going, distributed the (very) limited Chinese speakers between the two cars.
When we arrived at our destination, it was back on the sea-shore, and there were lovely decorative lights to be seen all around.
|Lovely tree light decorations near the seafront in Xiamen.|
|Stair decorations into a large building facing the sea.|
Going up the escalator by the side of the lighting up stairs, I make my way into what looks like a very posh restaurant, to be greeted by some of my sister-in-laws old school friends sitting at a table. The table itself is by the window which overlooks the sea stretching away from Xiamen, which must be quite a view in the day. But in the day this meant you could see the lights on Gulangyu island faintly.
|Posh restaurant, marble tables|
At last, a rest for my well-traveled feet in a Xiamen restaurant
The meal itself is up there with the best I had the whole holiday, which may be partly due to the fact it contained a lot of meat (mmm!).
Although having walked and traveled all day, I hadn't worked up a huge appetite. This was nothing some beer and a lot of very nice food couldn't solve...
And the food just kept coming out. I won't bore you with more pictures of it, but it was great!
|Plenty of meat and beer!|
My niece and nephew were somewhat tired and irritable at this point (as was I!), but luckily, the waiter knew what would solve this problem... a ridiculously large bowl of chocolate ice-cream!
Eventually it got shared around the entire table, and it in-fact tasted more like cocoa-sorbet, if I had to describe it. It was icey and watery, and only slightly chocolately. This was a nice change to the more savoury desserts you find in China though!
|Mountain of ice-cream|
Xiamens Night-Lights and Night-Life
After the food (and beer), we all required a small stroll to walk off the food. Well what we actually needed was bed, but why would you pass on the opportunity to see a major Chinese city at night?
|A large building right next to the restaurant.|
I am confused for a moment, when I see a blue shining UFO falling from the sky... which later turns out to be a throwing helicopter style light-up toy being demonstrated by a street seller -
|My brother and nephew looking at a building.|
|A woman cycling with a trailor that I almost managed to catch an un-blurred picture of...|
|Xiamen night lights, side-street.|
Xiamens main street
Here we see the main shopping street that we were walking down in Xiamen. It was great to stare at the city lights at night, to walk between the hustle and bustle, and to see children and parents out at such a late time.
It's so different from any city in the UK that I've been to. No-one was obnoxiously drunk (no, neither was I!), everyone seemed nice, and all of the shops were open!
|Busy Xiamen shopping street with lights at night.|
In the next China travel blog post, I go to Xiamens amazing and famous temple, see some monks, lots of tortoises and more!