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Postcards from the Parents.. Time together- museums, culture and food!

Beijing Day 1

CHINA | Wednesday, 24 October 2012 | Views [477] | Comments [1]

Woke up after a luxurious sleep and a shower in my own private suite (Belinda kindly slept in the extra bed in the living room) and up to the included buffet breakfast on the top floor. Warning this entry will contain over the top food descriptions as we had some amazingflood today! We soon learnt that Beth is not kidding about the amount of attention Adah receives here-evergone lookthat here, most people stop to talk to her and many people try to touch her. Adah beams at everyone and charms her way around the city!

After a stop for coffees where Belinda got a tiny expresso in a tiny takeaway cup, we were off to walk a few blocks to find Beth some phone credit. In the midst of the hustling city there are hundreds of alleyways where you imagine not much has changed for years. In such an alley we found the phone shop. Next down to the subway to head to Tianamen Square. 

The subway was packed, bags through the metal detectors, signs up about all the dangerous things that can't go on the train. We arrived in Tianamen Square to discover it was raining and packed with people. Though we had carried our warm and waterproof jackets with us all day yesterday and not gone near putting them on since it was so hot, we now of course had no such protection. Adah was warm and dry in the pram so we decided to just get wet.

Tianamen square was fascinating- huge monuments and heavily guarded but no reference to more recent events. Oh and it's true that the events record is blocked by a government firewall. You really can't google it here. Belinda and I lined up to see Mao's tomb. So many rules! No bags or cameras allowed, a security checkpoint to ensure your phone is off,signs advising to 'be very quiet and take off your hats' and an ongoing line of people shuffling towards the outer and then inner room of the tomb. The outer chamber filled with fresh flower tributes-from who we couldn't tell and a huge statue of Mao presiding over. Into the inner chamber where his body lies embalmed under the glass case. You get a 1 second glance and are then hurried on and out the door. We're not sure why it was so fast though our theory is that maybe it's a waxwork so nobody should look too closely??

We met up with Beth and Adah again in Starbucks and had a weird experience with the toilet with a man motioning us to go in only to find the previous occupant still completing his business. Hmmm...

Beth had booked lunch for us at the Dali Courtyard. A restaurant tucked away in the Hutongs (traditional alleyways) serving Yunnan food. It was the most perfect lunch in the most ideal setting with rain streaming down outside. A set menu saw plate after plate of fresh and lovely dishes brought to our table. Adah happily ate and played and we emerged hours later happy and satisfied.

Across the road we wandered down one of the Hutongs which have been kept as they have been for hundreds of years. Presents were bought, street food custard tarts consumed and we continued to get wetter and wetter! The doors weresomething to behold. Often made from pressed metal they were solid, immovable and beautiful.

A long taxi trip back to our hotel in the Beijing traffic and rain and we settled in for the night. Despite remembering to pack my swimmers I couldn't summon the energy to join Belinda at the pool. So we chatted, skyped, uploaded photos and played with Adah. We ordered excellent Italian takeaway for dinner (of all things) and then off to bed to prepare for the day ahead.

Tags: beijing




Jealous - so, so jealous!! Glad you are safe and sound and having a fabulous time! Give Beth and Adah a hug from me (and Belinda too ;))!!

  Pip Wood Oct 25, 2012 9:20 AM

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