Einstein Slept Here

“Grace this place gives me the creeps – it’s just like in The Shining”

“I wish you hadn’t said that.”

It was true though. We crept through miles of empty, creaking corridors to our room. All that was missing was the mad axeman, who thankfully didn’t materialise. In fact all the staff were charming.

The Astor House Hotel is a faded reminder of Shanghai’s glory days before WWII. Einstein stayed on our floor! It doesn’t seem to have rubbed off though unfortunately.


The day after visiting the Summer Palace we were off on the early train to Shanghai for the second leg of our China journey.  The train took 11 hours, we had soft seats which were wonderful.  Really fast, clean train.  We arrived in Shanghai in the evening very tired and had to face a barrage of insistent taxi drivers all wanting to charge us exhorbitant fares to our hotel.  We barreled past them until we found a street where we could flag down a taxi.  We had thought the taxi drivers in Beijing slightly bonkers, they were nothing to their colleagues in Shanghai.  After a death-defying rally ride we arrived at our hotel.

BEIJING – Gary Mok’s Studio at A-Space Art Village

We spent a truly fascinating day with Gary Mok at his studio in the outskirts of Beijing. Gary is a painter from Hong Kong who is studying in the city. He is also very interested in traditional Chinese calligraphy and we spent some time being shown examples of calligraphy he has collected over the years.  The following is a link to Gary’s own work, shown at the Schoeni Gallery, Hong Kong – http://www.schoeni.com.hk/current20070511.htm.