The Blue Beast on Tiananmen Square

Ever since we came up with the idea to drive in our own car from Shanghai to Amsterdam there was one moment in particular we very much were looking forward to. Today we made it happen.

At around 8.30 AM we drove the Blue Beast to Tiananmen Square for a photo shoot. We so badly wanted a photo of our car with Dutch license plate in front of Mao’s portrait on the entrance gate of the Forbidden City on Tiananmen Square. It’s such an iconic place. It sounds easy, but in fact getting the picture takes quite a bit of waiting, planning and sheer luck.

First we drove our car to a side street just off Tiananmen Square. There I got out of the car and walked towards the square while Mirian was waiting for my call that I was in position. I forgot to take any ID with me, but managed to get on the square anyway. There I positioned myself on the north side of the square facing Mao’s portrait. I called Mirian to start her first run across Changan.

Since there were a lot of cars in front I asked her to turn around and do a second run closer to the square. She did, but just before entering the square the police took her off the road for a routine check. She was soon released though and continued her drive across the square. This time the timing was perfect since she had to drive very slowly because of a lot of traffic. Clear blue skies perfected the scenery.

So here it is, our one minute of fame: the Blue Beast on Tiananmen Square!


In a very upbeat mood we then drove 700 kilometers to Erenhot the border town near Mongolia, where we arrived at around 7.30 pm. The drive went without a glitch. The car now seems problem free, so we are very happy about that. The scenery around the route was also very nice. Endless grasslands and emptiness. At a certain point we drove for about 45 minutes on the freeway without seeing any car.

Just before Erenhot the fields next to the road are full of dinosaur-statues. This town is famous for findings of dinosaurs remains and eggs. The statues formed a perfect background for our car.

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After a great barbecue at a local restaurant annex KTV joint we’re back in our hotel. It’s our last night in China, at least for the time being, and are looking forward to cross the border with Mongolia tomorrow. Then we also need to say goodbye to our guide and will we be totally on our own with also no language advantage anymore.

Let the real adventure begin!

3 Responses to The Blue Beast on Tiananmen Square

  1. Watson

    Good to know your car now is in good shape. and you must have made “history” when your Dutch blue beast was shot with Chairman Mao.
    Good bye from China. good luck to your real adventure!

  2. Marie Anne

    Okay, way to go Blue Beast. Take care of your passengers, they are wanted alive and well in Holland!!

  3. Rita

    Picture of the year!! I guess more “pictures of the year” will follow. Yes you can!

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