Walking the streets of Beijing

Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
Trip End Jul 20, 2008

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Monday, June 23, 2008

I woke up at 10AM and called Diana.  Then I watched Italy defeat Spain in the EuroCup. 

At noon I checked out of my hotel and stored two bags there.

Like yesterday, I spent the next five hours walking the streets of Beijing.  I am proud to say that of all the places I wanted to go to today I found them perfectly on my own by foot.

My first stop was Jingshan Park.  I am so happy that I stopped there.  The park gate is across the street from the back gate of the Forbidden City.  Inside I walked through the garden.  Then I made my way up a big hill to a pagoda atop.  Reaching the summit was great because here was a magnificent never-ending breeze.  Inside the pagoda was a large Budha.  The best part however was the 360 degree panorama of the city.  Since the park was next to the Forbidden City, the Pagoda stood above it and gave me an incredible view of the entire Forbidden City from above.  Once again, the fog and smog tried to ruin the view, but it was still spectacular.  I spent an hour up there enjoying the breeze and the view.

Then I took an hour walk to Tiananmen Square.  This time I got right up close to the Great Hall of the People where the large picture of Mao was located.  I walked though the gate and explored the "city" inside.
Suddenly the rains came and I took shelter under one of the gates.

Afterwards I took a long walk back, eventually made my way down Wangfujing Street and then walked another twenty minutes to the computer place.  The boys were still smoking and playing their computer games and I had a chance to update my travelogue that you are reading right now.

Next I walked back to Wangfujing for a farewell to Beijing duck feast. 

At 8PM my driver picked me up to take me to the Beijing train station and this is when the pain began.  I have three pieces of suitcases but my largest is a 50 pound duffel bag with no wheels.  I may have been able to carry this by then it was mass confusion with people bombarding me from all sides.  It was the longest walk to reach the train platform with my bags.  Once aboard the train I walked into my tiny room which I had to share with 3 other people.  The train departed after 11PM and I attempted to sleep before its arrival at 7AM the next day. 
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