Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Asian Adventure - Beijing

Wednesday 5 Aug:
I had set the alarm to get up early, as our guide and driver were coming at 9:30. The phone had not set the time to China, as I expected, and so I got up at 5:30am which was actually 3:30am! We got ourselves sorted, went for a walk, and did a little shopping at Tesco (I needed a pair of socks and sunscreen until my bag turned up). Back at the hotel we had breakfast. There was a choice of Muslim dishes, various vegetables sauteed, hard boiled eggs, and rice porridge, steamed buns, bread, croissants, rolls, tea, milk, hot water with lemon, and hot orange juice. I enjoyed the sauteed cabbage with chilli the most.


The first destination was The Forbidden City. As it is Summer Holidays here this was very busy. Here the artwork was quite spectacular, and the history very interesting. We did a fair bit of walking, and it was pretty hot and humid, I did not have a hat. 

Click to play the Slideshow

Next we were taken on a rickshaw ride around some of the old city. I felt as though we were taking our lives in our hands, but Ami had told the driver to be very careful with us. 

Click to play the Slideshow

Ami then took us to lunch to a famous dumpling restaurant, which looked very nice, but it wasn't the best place for me. I had pork ribs and Chinese beer, which was fizzy. Darryl had dumplings, and sweet and sour pork which he enjoyed. 






The silk factory was the next destination, and we were under quite a bit of pressure to buy something, anything, but although it was all very nice, I wasn't interested. What was interesting was to see how they used double-cocoons to stretch out to make layers for quilts. It took 80 layers for one, and they had to be stretched by hand. 




During the day, Ami phoned the airport and found that my case had arrived in Beijing, which was a relief. 

Our last destination, for the day, was the Summer Palace. Once again this was very crowded, but it was easy to see why it was the location for the Summer, as it was a lot cooler. Again the artwork was really beautiful, especially along the long corridor. There were lots of boats out on the artificial lake. 





Click to play the Slideshow


We were offered to go to a show, but were pretty tired still from the trip, so opted to just go to the hotel room. We were still full from lunch (there was sooo much food), so just had showers and went to bed. I must say that the drivers here are crazy, they don't signal changing lanes, and there are bikes and pedestrians everywhere, but we only saw a couple of accidents, so it must work in some way. It seems to take hours to get anywhere, and the motor scooters and cyclist seems to be allowed to go through the red lights at will. The smog was pretty bad, with the white haze visible only a short distance away, and the city not really visible.








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