Morning commute in Beijing
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 18 of 37 › view all entries
Our bus driver stopped in the middle of a street, kicked everyone off the bus, and disappeared. Apparently he wouldn't be delivering us to the bus station as we expected. The other passengers disappeared into the city like ants crawling into cracks in the wall. We were left to our own devices, trying to find our way in a completely foreign city. Luckily, I had photocopied a map of Beijing's city centre from someone else's guidebook back in Mongolia. I pulled it out and approached one of the few locals out on the streets at this hour. I asked him to show us where we were on the map, but apparently we weren't even on it yet! He gave us some vague direction of where the city centre was and we hopped on our bikes.
As we pedalled along the beautiful bike lanes, the city was waking up.
We arrived at Tian'anmen Square and ran into a throbbing crowd. Not exactly sure what was going on, we stopped to see what they were doing. We noticed a troop of soldiers marching from the Forbidden City to Tian'anmen Square. They carried the Chinese flag and raised it up the flagpole as their national anthem played. The crowd applauded and dispersed into the streets. The sun was now lighting up the edge of the sky. We could see a bit of Beijing's famous pollution illuminated in the morning light. The city was now awake.
What a lovely ride on our first morning in Beijing!