view of reflective ball
We returned to Beijing from Shanghai: We left the motel in Shanghai and arrived in Beijing in the afternoon. We were sad to say goodbye to everyone but it was very hurried at the airport as they left to their next gate and we left on our "adventure".
So......The group went on and we took off on our own. We found the correct bus and rode it to the main bus station next to Teinamen Square. Our motel was about 4 blocks and we walked to it. Once at the Beijing International Hotel we checked in and retrieved the large suitcase we had stored there to take purchases home in.
We took it to the room to sort and repack in the next day or so.
This large reflective ball was really interesting
Davie and I started out walking: We got pretty lost and weren't finding any of the sites we thought we would: Then we saw a bike rental place: I insisted on trying them: We rented two bikes..... you know that saying about " if you learn how to ride a bike you always can??? " . Well .....it's not true. I wobbled all over the place. The first bike was set wayyyy too high for me. I fell over several times trying to take off because it was so hard for me to reach the seat.... finally after a couple of blocks I realized the problem.... So we went back and exchanged that bike for another one.
So off we went again.
It was definitely better! Only one problem... my bike had crappy brakes so I couldn't stop quickly to avoid things. I hit a man who stepped off the sidewalk (without looking ...so he obviously had a death wish anyway) I screamed and he somehow didn't get run over. I did bump him pretty good....I didn't stop to talk as I was already having trouble keeping going. Besides.... I could only say nihou... and I doubt he wanted to be greeted.....David left me in the dust and then about 4 blocks later he was sitting waiting for me.
A rather fierce turtle looking thing in beihai park
Tons of bikes, pedestrians and motor bikes. The cars drive pretty slow but they have the right of way. ...and buses are over them.. the biggest one rules....... so pity the pedestrians who have to wait a lot.
..... although Chinese have nerves of steel.
ceiling shot (what a surprise: Not!) The famous Beijing Hotel. It is so beautiful inside. Don't miss walking through it.
We walked through a part of the imperial city (forbidden city) pushing the bikes then we rode to a neat place called the Beihai park. We could see a large white building that was Tibetan style pagoda. We were told by gesturing that we could not take the bikes in so we locked them under a tree. The area had wonderful paths and a huge lake with boats and an island in the middle. People were strolling enjoying the gardens and the area. We walked over the bridge to the entrance and paid to go see the white pagoda. We found the beams were beautifully painted in the outside arches and pagotas (like many of the imperial places) and we stopped to take pictures.
We saw very little of the area because they were closing almost as we were buying our tickets.
there was a large pond that had these guys ..... very serene
The grounds person was very kind and indicated for us to hurry and held one of the buildings open so we could look at the gold buddah displays. Unfortunately, the next buildings were closed. A really nice man reopened his shop and sold us water with slushy ice in it. I was so excited when I saw the ice I almost hugged him.... We drank it and wandered around looking at the outdoor displays. There were several pavilions and caves on the different levels. I loved the statue holding the plate to collect morning dew.
We stopped at a little restaurant and had rice, noodles and dumpling. They had dog and shark on the menu but we were too hot and tired to try anything so adventurous.
The meal cost about $6.00 with tea. We sat outside and watched the people on the lake gather their little rental boats up and put them away for the night. We exited the park and retrieved our bikes.
beijing park lovely to see.... lovely to be walking in it
I was a little better at bike riding at the end...... my "shriek" was improved so I could use it like a horn and warn people. People would glance back and see my blond hair flying and wild eyes and they cleared the path for me. (the brakes were still iffy at the end of the ride so at least that part wasn't me.....) It was really fun riding and being part of the people flow: a LOT of people are on bikes. We didn't blend but it was still great fun.
We walked around quite a while also. approached by probably 10 students.
(if not more..) ... They have this scam where they talk to you... always the same: They ask: what country are you from? what city? do you like china ? is it beautiful? then the punch line: we have a Lovely shop with a show room and pictures for sale. We were stopped so often (blond gal with tall guy..... it's like waving a flag.....) It got to the point where it was just irritating. It would take about 10 minutes for them to cut to the chase so it wasted our time. If they had been practicing their English that is one thing.... but they weren't. We got tired of fending them off. The last few that came up Davie told them right away we are not interested in art. That cut out some of the talk.
Just inside the entrance to Beijing Hotel
On our way back to the motel we walked through the famous Beijing Hotel... it is an amazing hotel that has been in existance for years.... many famous people have stayed there.... We did not because we are neither rich or famous. But we loved the motel and got some great shots.
We still haven't hit a McDonald's but it's on our "to do" list. I always the regional things at McD's.