There is so much I could blog about from this one city! After taking a night train from Xian to Beijing, which was an experience in and of itself, we spent three days in the city. Because it's overwhelming to tell you about all of it, here are a few highlights from our time here. You'll have to come over or have dinner with us to get the full scoop I guess.
- We stayed in a really cool, authentic Chinese hotel in the Houtong District. They were so nice, served us breakfast every morning . I loved the traditional style of the building, furniture and breezeways.
- Chinese Zoo - This was surprisingly one of our most fun parts of the trip. Mainly, going to see the panda bears. They had them out in the open in a not-so-far away from us pit with a not-so-deep moat. I'm guessing panda's are just gentle animals? It was so cool to be so up-close and personal with them. They are very cute guys! Then we went over to the tiger section. Wow!! They had everything from jaguars to siberian tigers and lions about 5 feet away from you! Their ROAR shook the whole building. I had no idea just how large these animals are. I would say 2/3rds the size of a horse. I definitely have a healthy fear of them now!
- The Great Wall - we took a gondola up to see this snow-covered wall. Because it was so cold and a little rainy, you couldn't quite grasp the grandoure of it's length, but still very neat to be on it. Justin was noticing all the planning and logic behind it's design, even down to the little ramps built in as in irrigation system. This wall was started by the same Emperor who built the Terra Cotta Warriors.
- Touring the Forbidden City
- Shopping and bargaining in the new "Silk Alley" We got all kinds of cheap things from Polo shirts to bottles of perfume. I think we perfected the art of walk-away to get the lowest price. Overwhelming but fun!
- Tiennamen Square - unfortunately all of the museums in this area were closed! But it was cool to just be there and walk around.