Monday, December 23, 2013

China, part 2: Beijing

Having survived Shanghai relatively intact, we were off to Beijing! It started out well enough with an elegant dish of Peking Duck at a fancy-ish restaurant we stumbled across.
The first place we hit was, of course, The Great Wall. It was probably one of the prettier times to go, having the fall colors on the trees and not as many tourists since it wasn't summer. There are a couple of different entry points to the tour-able parts of the Great Wall. The one we went to was at Mu Tian Yu.
Bonus! They have a gondola to ride up on.
Hubby took this photo of the Wall with fall colors. It's my favorite photo of the bunch we took there.
This pic shows a nice length of the wall:
In Beijing, we walked this pedestrian shopping street (Wang Fujiang Dajie) which, by day, looked like this:
and by night, you can find the street market:
where they sold such delectable delicacies as this:
and this:
No, we didn't partake of any of the six and eight-legged fare. We are pretty adventurous eaters (we can eat durian which Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame can't), but I draw the line at insects. The boys have eaten chocolate covered insects before, but even they didn't want to try these.

This was our favorite restaurant while in Beijing. It was only a few doors down from our hotel in Lishi Hutong.
Speaking of our hotel, here it is at night:
It was more of a hostel than a hotel, but its location couldn't be beat.

While the streets were often dirty by North American standards, there were some rather pretty scenes, like this:
Besides the Great Wall, we also went to Fragrant Hills, and the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is well-known for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the impractical marble "boat" built by the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi:
It was a hazy day the day we went to the Summer Palace (one of those infamous smog days of China) so a lot of the photos taken there weren't that good.

One of the foods that hubby loved while staying there were the skewered sugared crabapples. They were, um, interesting:
We have a lot more photos of Beijing (though oddly enough, I think we have even more photos from Xi'an, the place where we stayed the fewest number of days), but I think I've bored you all enough by now. Those who are eager to see more photos, come on over to visit us and we'll show you all the photos on our TV and keep you for hours! ;)

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams