Day 3 – Bejing: Visit of Swiss Gastro Bakery / Great Wall / Olympic Stadium by night

This day started early, too early for some to realise the urgent need of an umbrella. With our private bus we drove to Swiss Gastro Bakery, located north of Beijing. This company is focused on frozen bread and mainly owned by Alfred Hiestand known as “Gipfelikönig”. There we had the honour to meet Mr. Andreas Weih, General Manager of the bakery.  Starting with the tasting of delicious pastries we received valuable information about a Swiss company which entered the Chinese market and faced several challenges.  So to mention is the fact that Chinese people do not have the custom to eat baked bread, therefore Swiss Gastro Bakery mostly supplies hotels and enterprises. After a tour through the factory we had the possibility to experience a Chinese lunch the way the factory workers had it.

The afternoon program included a walk on the Great Wall. We drove with the bus to Mutianyu and had perfect weather conditions. Geographically this small village is located in the Hurairou District, characterised by few tourists. After a two hours walk on the wall itself, , the organisation team surprised us with cold beer. At the end we skidded down to the bus which was a great deal of fun.

After another bus ride we arrived at the Olympic stadium and could enjoy the breathtaking lightshow at the olympic area by night. Totally exhausted we are now back in the hotel and looking forward to the guided tour inside the Bird’s Nest tomorrow.

Day 14 – Quiet Beijing & Near Sights

One day after Lunar New Year, Beijing was empty. But the fact that there where just few cars driving was a perfect precondition for our sightseeing day in and around Beijing. We got to our destinations quickly and there was almost no smog! The first stop was at the Badaling site of the Great Wall. It was simply impressive to see a small part of the 8851km long wall. We were very astonished by the imagination of how many hours of work had to be put into this monument. Sporty people of the group started to talk about how it were if one would organize a (half) marathon on the wall; those were also the people who felt the urge to run instead of walking slowly. The decision to take the steeper route rewarded us with an even better view, plus we had a good laugh looking at the other side, where the majority of tourists went.

After an unsatisfying lunch (one of many in China so far) at a huge tourist restaurant, we proceeded to the Ming Tombs where 13 emperors are buried. One of them is Zhu Di, also called the Yongle emperor, who changed the capital from Nanjing to Bejing in the 15th century. To have a glance on his burial place, one has to pass various gates and buildings. Continue reading

Day 3: Swiss Gastro Bakery and Great Wall

We had to get up early in the morning to begin a very varied day. Our first destination was the visit at the Swiss Castro Bakery. The Company wants to establish high quality bread according to the European standard in China. To get an insight into the production process of the Swiss Gastro Bakery, we were guided by Mr. Weih and his assistant through the whole production plant. Continue reading