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So I boarded a train from Shanghai to Yichun in Jiangyxi province. Yichun, with a population of several hundred thousand, would have been a major city in Europe but was hard to find on a China map. And my treasured „Lonely Planet“ travel guide didn’t mention it at all. I was told that I was the first European there, and with my dark blond beard and hair I must have been quite a sight!

I was warmly welcomed by the family and could even stay in their home for the days I spent there.

Here are some impressions:

The four-year-old son of Mr Yan called da huzi de shuhu – the uncle with the big beard. And his cousin – she was about the same age – was totally crazy about me.

Mr Yan knew that my father worked on the restoration of historic water mills in South-West Germany, and therefore organized a trip to a Chinese mill, an oil mill, actually.

Afterwards we went to a place with hot springs, where I was able to take a real bath for a long time. The naturally hot water was also used for washing clothes in a cammunal washing house.

After a few days I left Yichun for my next destination: Guilin and Yangshuo – the famous hills on the Li river.

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