Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beijing Day 1

It's true, I did put a moratorium on Sam's blogging until we had pictures because, really, how do you explain things like The Great Wall in words?  Even the pictures we captured don't quite do these places justice.   As Sam already described our first day I thought I'd just give you a quick recap with pictures.  We're working on getting some of the 1200 pictures we took over the weekend up on the picture page, so check there if you want to see more!

As Sam said we really hit the ground running when we got to Beijing.  We stayed in a great hostel, The Red Lantern House.  It was a great deal... in a historic hutong, room for 3 (using the shared bathroom) for $33 a night.  The front desk staff was super helpful as well and directed us to lunch and a bus to the Summer Palace, which is about 45 minutes north of the city.  Here are few shots from our journey:

The Summer Palace was absolutely gorgeous.  We are quite used to Palaces in Korea, which are generally pretty small in scale and were somewhat unprepared for the sheer scale of the Summer Palace.  We were pretty wiped out from traveling all day, but easily could have spent more time there than we had.

After the palace we decided to head over to Tienaman Square.  We got a bit turned around coming out of the subway (which is in no way as well marked as Seoul's), but had fun exploring the area on the west side of the square for a bit.

When we got closer to the square we realized that traffic was being re-directed and there was no way to actually get into the square as the underground tunnel was blocked off.  There was also a pretty big crowd gathering, but we couldn't figure out what was going on.

Then we saw the guards marching across the road and realized that we were there for one of the two times a day that they bring everything to a halt in order to raise and lower the giant flag.  Kind of cool to see.

By this point we were famished and decided to hoof it over to Snack Street, which Sam filled you about.  After that we headed back to the hostel and promptly passed out!  The day was a great start to our trip... but the next couple of days just kept getting better and better!  Be sure to check back soon for the "Day 2" installment :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The days are moving too slowly!!

Curious minds just want to know!

Love you both, Mommy Hosack