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Beijing Sights and Train to Shanghai

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Lychee Breakfast in Tianamen Square

We woke up, packed our things up and checked out of our room.  We left our bags in storage in the hotel and went off for the day.  We took the metro to Tianamen Square.  In the center of the square is Chairman Mao's mausoleum.  The mausoleum opened at 8am and we were there at 8:20.  The line already had maybe a thousand people in it.  It made a huge lap around the mausoleum although it did go very quickly.  After walking for 10 minutes, we found the end of the line and when we got in the line someone reminded us that you can't take any bags inside.  Rather than getting some lockers and waiting in that huge lane, we decided to skip it and had breakfast of lychees and yogurt at the square.

We walked across the street and went into the Forbidden City.

Forbidden City
  It was very large and impressive but the mass of tourists was a little tiring.  Unfortunately, some of the central buildings in the palace were under repair but they had a lot of side exhibits open that were closed two years ago when Arum was here.  They had a whole bunch of relics from the different dynasties and a room full of scientific equipment, plus there was air conditioning.  The whole palace was real big although much of it looked the same anyway and it was similar to the palace in Korea.  Arum noticed Matt Coburn from Cornell at the Forbidden City so she was surprised at that.

After leaving the Forbidden City, we went to a restaurant and had some roast duck, which was just ok.  We took a taxi to the Palace of Heaven.  It is this big park that was used for special ceremonies such as ceremonial sacrifices by the emperor.

Forbidden City
  We didn't pay to go in all of the buildings though since we had just seen so much at the Forbidden City, but we did spend a lot of time just walking the length of the park and looking at all of the buildings from the outside.

Once we were done walking around the park, we took a quick walk through the Pearl Market, which happened to be right there.  It was several stories of little booths selling all the same thing and trying to yell at you to come over and by their stuff.  Then, we took a city bus back to the hotel Arum stayed in 2 years ago.  We used the internet there for exactly 20 minutes (it was a race against the clock).

We had some time to kill so we went to the mall near our hotel and had an Orange Julius.  In order to celebrate July 4th, we were going to get 2 hot dogs for 90 cents as advertised on two big posters at Dairy Queen but dissapointingly they said no for some reason.

Forbidden City
  Instead we went to McDonald's to celebrate and ate there.  We went back to our hotel to get our bags and then took the metro to the Beijing Train Station.

Our train to Shanghai left at 7pm (and it left on time).  The tickets cost around $30 each and we had the hard seats instead of more luxurious soft seats or sleepers.  The seats were better than what we were expected and it was similar to regular seats on an airplane but with a little more leg room.  After playing some cards and having a cup of noodle (it seemed like everyone on board had a cup of noodles), we were ready to go to sleep early.  We busted out our inflatable neck pillows and eye covers while I'm sure everybody was staring at us.  In typical fashion, Steve slept very well throughout the night even though the lights stayed on and people were noisy and Arum didn't sleep so well.  We arrived in Shanghai without any problems around 7:30am the next day.

Steve

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Lychee Breakfast in Tianamen Square
Lychee Breakfast in Tianamen Square
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Garden in Forbidden City
Garden in Forbidden City
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Train to Shanghai
Train to Shanghai
Train to Shanghai
Train to Shanghai
Beijing
photo by: Deats