Well we have had a few interesting days wandering the streets of Beijing. The first item of note was that we sat next to a grotty Brit backpacker on the bus to the Great Wall and Jill picked up a cold so has been incredibly snotty and required a day of doing nothing but sitting in her room and feeling sorry for herself while going through tissues at a rate that will destroy small forests and increase global warming markedly.
We had a huge day in the heart of Beijing where we started by catching the train to Tiananmen Square and did the walk north through the square and into zhongshan park and then into the forbidden city. After that we headed to Jingshan Park which is a hill that offers the best views of all of Beijing on a clear day. All of this is a straight line from Tiananmen Square. All of this was excellent and the hike while long was worth every minute of it. The only detractor was when we reached Jingshan Park and found ourselves at the bottom of the hill and had to climb the stairs to the lookout. After our Great Wall hike our bodies were immediately reminded of the trauma that we had been inflicting upon them.
As mentioned above the view on a clear day was that of all of Beijing. This was not a clear day and we were lucky to see 200 meters. Jill took a photograph directly of the sun at 4pm that looked more like an orange moon. There was a huge highrise in the distance that you could hardly tell existed. From here we travelled down the hill and decided to walk home which took us on an impromptu tour of the Hutongs (narrow alleys with traditional courtyard residences). The next day was Jills recovery day.
Today we walked from our accommodation back to Tiananmen Square via a local dumpling house (our terminology as we are getting good at playing charades with restaurant staff) where we had a great breakfast for under $10. When we arrived we attended the National Museum and were pleasantly surprised to find it was free upon presentation of a foreign passport. This was a very nationalistic view of China and was in line with the message that the Government wished to portray. That said I got myself into a zone of lunacy that only my sister Karin can relate to (following a Canberra Zoo visit). In such a zone Karin found herself in tears of laughter however my musings were met with Uh Huh from my bride.
Tomorrow we will be having another crack at the Summer Palace when we are a bit fresher and we will be catching a train closer to the actual palace rather than the boat which dropped us at the extreme end of the complex.
We have hit some tech snags in China with facebook, wikipedia, skype etc not functioning. The last couple of blog posts and photos were e-mailed to shorty in Canada who posted on our behalf. This one seems to be working. There is no picking what will work on any given day. We are enjoying the comments on the blog so keep them coming we are not posting them for all to see.