Tuesday, our first day as tourists in the Chinese capital. Ｉ had scheduled a tour for our first day, but changed it about 3 days before we left home, thinking it might be a bit much to be touring our first day! THANK GOD I DID! We got up at about 730am, thanks to H-man, waking us all up, and went down to an amazing buffet breakfast. our hotel Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven, is fantastic! The service is great, beds are a little hard, and pillows a little too soft - but hey, when in Rome - right?!! The Chinese Sports Institute here have put in some new rule, that in all public pools, swimming caps must be worn - so we had to buy hideously expensive swimming caps from the hotel... all to look like condom-knob-head morons to have a swim! Note: It was NOT hot outside, a chilly 11 degrees - but the indoor pool was lovely! We went for a walk to find "Temple of Heaven" only to wander the streets, with no idea where we were going! We found a local park, where we were definitely a sideshow, then had lunch at a local restaurant, where we were put in the front window... on display! I've since found out - there are no other "International"Hotels in the area!
Wednesday, Great Wall / Ming Tombs tour day! We had to be out front by 745am, so had to be up by 6 to shower & breakfast. Ming Tombs wasn't as "cool" as I expected... maybe I thougth we'd actually see the dead guy?! The Great Wall, was all and more than I expected! OMG! It was soooo steep. I've read it a thousand times in people's blogs/stories... but being there, looking up at it, and then chasing your 6 year old son up it - totally different story!!! We all made it to the top! And if you asked my kids what was there memory of the Great Wall? They'd say with much pride and gusto "My Mum puked at the top of the Great Wall!" Yes, you read that right. I puked. It was horribly embarrassing!!! I don't know whether I'm sooo unfit, that my poor old body, just couldn't cope with the exercise, or whether it was the heights or whether it was the massive buffet dinner we'd just consumed... but one thing is for sure - I left something of me, on the Great Wall!!! Of course our diligent guide, made sure we stopped off at the local Jade and Cloisonne factories! i scored a beautiful jade bracelet for Mothers Day & the kids got a pendant each. I'm sure we were hideously ripped off.... but hey, I got a beautiful piece of jewellry - and longevity, now, right? We didn't get any cloisonne (my hubs is now stone broke!) And finally today, we saw an acrobat show which was absolutely amazing - I highly recommend it, if in Beijing. We got the DVD, coz we couldn't take photos or movie. We flagged down a cab to take us back to our hotel, and hit the jackpot with "Mr Loony Toons"!!! I swear this dude was high! He actually spoke good english, and loved to sing. He'd break into song mid sentence! We filmed him, he was so hilarious. Poor H-man was so tired, he kept asking if the guy knew where he was going!!!
So far - it's been an amazing trip. Hope to post again, from Xian - we go there in a couple of days.
Photo above: "pre-pukage"
*sorry tried to download more photos, but I can't compress them here, so they're not downloading!
Zia Jian (did I spell that right?!!)