Beijing Sicily Hotel
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... margins getting it up there. It was lovely to step out onto the balcony and breathe in the morning mist and see crumbling Great Wall as far as the eye could see. One of the tour guys was sitting in the lotus position practicing yoga and I could see locals carrying water in buckets on their heads down dirt tracks. It really was picture perfect, so I decided not to take a photo. It was then back to Beijing!
... Chi. Many of the structures were closed, either due to the early morning (8am) hour, or being winter season. Most of the water areas of the park were still somewhat covered in ice. At one point we did find most of the crowds but we escaped most of them by climbing a really tall tower. Comedically, the top of the tower was actually adjacent to a hillside where we had been earlier in the morning, so our sense of accomplishment was a bit deflated.
By 10:15 ...
After a day at sea, we arrived in China. What a huge country this is! And if the Japanese are very polite, quiet and courteous, the Chinese are pushy and noisy. We heard that they learned to be so assertive (or aggressive) because there are so many of them (25 million souls in Beijing alone - the city formerly named Peking) that they have to fight their way through life. ...
... A change was as good as a rest. The park was freezing, our coldest day yet. Afterwards, we took the tube to Llama Temple (a metro stop - we didn't want to go near the Temple!) and had a lovely late lunch at Veggie Table, Beijing's only vegan restaurant. Lynds had spaghetti with chilli, and I had an excellent pasta dish - except that we could have eaten three portions, let alone one. Next, just across the street, came one of our highlights of Beijing. Not the Forbidden ...
After lunch Mister Ji drove us to the Birds Nest and Water Cube to take pictures. Vendors have maximized on the popularity of the area and are there selling all sorts of things. We heard a lot of "hello hat, hello watch". From the Birds Nest we went to the Temple of heaven but because Mister Ji and Professor Lin thought it was too hot outside we went to the Hongqiao Market first. It is a 4 or 5 story souvenir shopping mall. The vendors are very aggressive and always tell people ...