Week 55 – Beijing and The Great Wall

A week late with this update – pacing myself. Not much happening locally – did have an interesting conversation with a co-worker that resulted in the statement – “Stella McCartney’s parents are famous too?” – generational/cultural, who knows?

We missed Alexandra –she would have liked all the rules and structure. But she is pretty much on vacation full time so we don’t feel too bad.

We had the same tour guide as a similar trip I took a while back – worked out well as she maneuvered us through the various tourist traps for two days at the Wall and historical sites in Beijing. We then had the last day on our own and when back to Tiananmen Square and the Mao mausoleum. No pictures allowed in the mausoleum – so you are spared.

Great Wall

On the way up the wall on the chairlift, I dropped my Samsung Note about 100′ – a park worker got it for me. At the wall with my recovered phone
At the base of the The Great Wall, last March it was all local vendors hustling stuff. Now Burger King
This tobaggan slide was a key part of the cell phone recovery effort – local guy rode down and got off the the slide and found the bright orange phone. I dropped the phone about halfway up the chairlift.

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven – this was actually more interesting that the Forbidden City.
Retirees playing some sort of highly competitive card game

Olympic Park

The Water Cube
Sledding hill in front of the birds nest from 2008 Olympics.
The older couple wanted a picture with us but once other saw we were taking pictures, every wanted wanted a picture with me (or maybe Annelise) 

Tiananmen Square and the Mao mausoleum

It isn’t cloudy – it is pollution. The tank in 1989 would have been in this view. Clearly it is not marked.
National Muesum of China – very large and communist
Tiananmen Square – lookng towards Forbidden City. About a mile across of similar palaces – but mostly open space.
All Mao all the time outside the mausoleum
Our tour guide recommended a local acrobat show…this was in a public library auditorium. But very impressive
Putin’s wife drug him to the same silk shirt store too

We confirmed China does not allow true internet access – at the Great Wall – uploaded to Facebook was super fast, I could see other friends that had checked in. But in most of places had no access to Facebook and our guide had given up on Facebook a while back. Similar story with CNN and other news sites. Our guide told us that the first time she saw picture of the tank in Tiananmen Square in the protests of 1989 was in 2012 – when a tourist had it on their phone.

As promised to Sharon, I cut her and her mask out. Only had two masks to wear, and we decided I was the one that probably had the least to lose.

The other thing that hits you in the face – the air pollution. Air quality index of between 200-300 when we were there, which is heavily polluted – far worse than anywhere in the US now. It was pretty overwhelming and the sun was just a glow. Can’t imagine a 600 plus day.

From Week 55 – Beijing and The Great Wall. Posted by JC Travels on 1/31/2015 (16 items)


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