NYOS China Tour 2015 - Flash Flood Beijing
Last tourist attraction and last day in China! Most of us went to another "fake market" to spend the last of our Yen, and then went to the Temple of Heaven (where we supposed to go earlier in the week but didn't due to train delays). It was totally worth the wait though. Some people went out on their own, for shopping or sightseeing, or exploring the city. We went back to the hotel for the last time, for dinner, then were in the middle of boarding the buses when the rain started.
The rain quickly turned from drizzle to downpour, and then to hail the size of golf balls. The bus started leaking and the road flooded. Bus 2 got stuck in amongst floating cars and, I'm not gonna lie, we all began to panic a little. The life-saving bus drivers managed to get us to safety inside the hotel complex, and then negotiated an incredibly tight turn to get us out the secondary exit, albeit over two hours late. Turns out there's not been a storm like that here since the 1960s, and we were lucky to be able to get to the airport at all!
Fast forward to midnight Chinese time in Beijing International Airport, you could see us running full pelt off the busses to check-in, onto a train, off the train, through security and finally coming to a breathless stop at the back of the queue for our flight. Nobody dropped their passport on the mad sprint to the gate, nobody got left behind (anywhere!), and as I'm writing this, everyone is safely on board and watching the sparkling lights of Beijing fade into the distance as we hurtle through the skies in a metal tube away from this unforgettable week and towards Dubai and home.
Emilie Colliar, Violin 1