Let the Games begin!
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 14 of 18 › view all entries
This morning I woke up very excited. The Games are starting! But first i want to get a feel of the city. From my hostel I walk West and after 45 minutes I'm surrounded by tourgroups. They are all on there way to the Forbidden city. It's really warm and way to busy. Tiananmen square is off limits and the small area in front of the big portret of Mao is full of people. Combined with the enormous heat and humidity, this is too much. I go to the nearby park and decide what to do now.
After about 30 minutes I would like to see more of the area, so I make my way to the square in front of the Forbidden city again. There are hardly any people left! What's going on here? Just half an hour ago there where hundreds, now only 100 maybe. Strange world! But good for me, because now the Palace museum(Forbidden city) is really nice to walk around. It get's more croweded after, but that's fine.
There is not more to see but big buildings. But you have to know the story that surrounds this place. There were hundreds of people living here. The first few big buildings are more to impress than of real use. The further you walk truw the small alleys, it gets better. In the end there is even a nice park.
So I spent a copple of hours walking around and taking way to many pictures(again). It's a nice place. After this i walk in to the big shopping street. I make the mistake to go into the Olympic store. Help!! People are pushing and shoving, looking angry and grabbing what they can. What makes it more difficult is that if you want to buy anything you go to a counter and they write you a receit. With this you go to another counter to pay and than you get back to the first one to pick up your things. Crazy, but fun to watch.
I get back to my hostel and try to get a Chinese simcard. Whoops, my phone has a simlock. So i need to buy a phone, too. why are things never easy around here!! I'm getting frustrated, really. But now it works, almost. i can't reveive any textmessages. And that was the whole idea.
After all this stupid stuff I make my way to the Holland House to watch the Opening ceremony. The HH is really big and you can get Dutch food and watch all the sports on big tv's. Love it! The Opening ceremony is beautiful, but sitting on the floor for 4 hours is a hard a thing to do. Anyway: great day, great start of the Games and hopefully a great 2 weeks to come