Autumn Festival in China is next week so it’s time to make travel arrangements. The smart thing to do is to leave the country as in-country travel will be overcrowded, but we don’t have multiple entry visas, though we asked for them. Thus we’re here and this is the only vacation time so we need to make the most of it.
A friend and I decided to visit the Longmen Caves near Luoyang. They’re massive Buddhist sculptures carved into the sides of caves. That won’t take a week to see so we wanted to seek some sights in neighboring Kaifeng.
Last Wednesday I asked for the train tickets. In China you can’t buy tickets more than 10 days in advance. We planned to leave on the 30th. On Friday the Foreign Affairs assistant called from the travel agent. All the overnight sleeper cars were sold out. It’s an 11 hour ride to Kaifeng and more to Luoyang so sleeper makes the most sense. We asked for October 1. Sold out. The 2nd? Only hard seats. Really? Really.
Flying isn’t an option because there are no flights to Luoyang from Jinan. We’d have to go via Beijing or Shanghai, both of which are completely out of the way.
Well, okay. We don’t want to miss a chance to explore more of China. You’d think you might be able to to book the return ticket, but you’re wrong. Since it’s more than 10 days till the Saturday we want to return we have to wait till this Wednesday. Thus we live with that nagging question of can we return in time for school?
So we’ve got our hard seat tickets and await news on our return tickets. I’m praying for soft sleeper. Dare I?