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777km, A European Professor's Cycling in China

Alexis Vahlas is a professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Strasbourg in France and a cycling enthusiast. In April this year, at the invitation of China-EU School of Law (CESL) at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), he came to the Changping Campus of CUPL to give lectures to CESL’s Double Master students. This is the 10th year that Prof. Vahlas has taught at CESL. In this article, Prof. Vahlas shared his experiences of Cycling in China.

Taking opportunity of a break during my courses in Changping, I decided to take my bicycle and leave Beijing to go to the sea. The goal was to reach Qinhuangdao, where the great wall arrives in the sea, at the famous location called Old dragon's head.

(The Old dragon's head, where the great wall arrives in the sea.)

The challenge was to be able, every day, to reach the next hotel accepting non-Chinese travellers, with limited GPS support and very reduced number of people speaking English. Furthermore, when you had a bicycle in the 60’, it meant you were from a rich family, today you better be careful because you are one of the smallest on the road. But very often in China, the roads offer a dedicated space for cyclists, and this adventure to Qinhiangdao led to a cycling tour of 777km, via Tangshan, and, on the way back, Chengde and Gubeikou.



First and foremost, cycling up to 150 km per day and meeting so many people made this trip a true discovery of modern China. On a bicycle, you can have long trips and at the same time you stay connected to people. Day after day, your understanding of the country improves and, at the end, you begin to have a first idea of what is the Chinese soul.

(Nice Landscape)

Last but not least, another nice experience was to report the trip to the students, in order to earn the title of the "cycling professor of the flying Faculty"!

(Prof. Vahlas shared his experiences with CESL students.)

Article: Alexis Vahlas

Pictures: Alexis Vahlas、Huang Yuqian, Double master student from 2023 intake

Editor: MA Anna