It's A Big World

and I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

Browsing Posts in Vacation

We went up the CC television tower for a 360 degree view of Beijing. It was quite amazing and apparently we were lucky as it was clearer than normal.  Apartment and business buildings rose from the ground as far as the eye could see. Of course that can be expected from a city with a population of nearly 18 million.

The guy squatting was an image frequently witnessed throughout China. I tried to do the squat but had a hard time standing back up!

The guys in the red hats were a tour group. I found it funny that tour groups wore the same colored hats – again, we saw groups of tourists with bright colored hats throughout Beijing…

The square is situated right next to the buildings holding the top offices of the communist government. Across the street from the square is the entrance to the Forbidden City.  The square seems to be most known for the site of the Tiananmen Massacre. Primarily students and intellectuals were protesting actions of the communist government (1989) when the military stepped in and stopped the uprising through aggressive acts of violence. Some reports suggest nearly 3,000 people were killed.

Today was a low-key day and we used it to rest and prepare for the next week on the road.  Darren, Kevin, and I ate some McDonald’s this morning and ran around the neighborhood getting some last minute things done. Pictured is a McDonald’s delivery driver…using a bicycle of course. The other picture is one that is scene all around Beijing – a delivery driver of sorts.  It’s amazing what can be hauled on a little bicycle. Darren and Kevin had to get haircuts so I tagged along and got a head, shoulder, arm, and finger massage. Not a bad time.

We took a stroll through Kevin’s neighborhood and ate some traditional Chinese food. Actually this was the first traditional Chinese meal we’ve had since I arrived. We were going to head to the Silk Market again but didn’t want to stand outside and hail a cab in the rain. Instead we opted for watching episodes of the British version of The Office.  Pirated DVD’s of course.

We fly out at 3:45 tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon and we’ll be staying in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday and Sunday night.  After that…who knows!

Today we hit one of the eight wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China. The weather was about 15 degrees cooler than yesterday so the heat was much more bearable.  After a quick breakfast, we took a cab to get to the subway, then rode it across town to get on a bus. The bus ride was about an hour as we headed up to the mountains surrounding Beijing.  The Great Wall was amazing. To imagine how hard the peasants must have had to work to build the structure. We hiked to the highest point (in the area) with plenty of rest breaks along the way.

For dinner we went into a section of Beijing called Hou Hai. It was a trendy restaurant/bar type area that attracts many tourists. A nice lake and channel ran through the district providing a nice scene. We ate pizza and drank some beers on top of one of the restaurants.

(The pic w/ the hole in the floor is the squatty potty version of a toilet that if found throughout China…even in the McDonalds)

My flight was long but uneventful and I arrived in Beijing at 11pm. Kevin was there to pick me up and we ventured straight to his apartment. After shooting the breeze for a bit I crashed.

This morning we went to Longtanhu Park and people-watched. For lunch we ate noodles with brown stuff that Kevin never did tell me what it was. Went to the Pearl Market, Temple of Heaven, TianAnMen Square, HuTong (old system of Beijing alleys). The picture of the building is of Kevin’s apartment. The picture of the street is from the front of Kevin’s apartment building. The view of the dilapidated houses is from behind Kevin’s apartment.

Later in the afternoon we cruised around Beijing riding two vintage scooters.

Eventually I’ll post pictures with descriptions but for now I’ll simply provide a few pictures from today.