Published: November 24th 2008October 24th 2008
Beijing the famous city of smog, this description was certainly true on our first day. After we eventually found our hostel, we headed out to the Summer Palace for a relaxing afternoon at what was once the retreat for the Emperors away from the city. The Palace really was beautiful set in acres of ground and plenty of space to get away from the hoards of tourists. An enjoyable afternoon, shame that we couldn't see too far...
A big storm cleared the air for the following day of bright blue skies and fantastic sunshine. We headed for the Forbidden City early in the day, hoping to be there before the tour buses arrived. We were wrong!! The audio guide took us around the many stunning palaces, through a few rugby scrums of native tourists to see the most important sights. It would be quite easy to get lost here for days wandering around. Following a hard mornings work out, we headed to a nearby restaurant to sample the local speciality of Peking Duck.
With contented bellies, we headed to the Olympic village. It's an impressive sight that greated us coming out of the metro station, the Watercube and Bird's
Nest stand in all their grandure. Once inside the Bird's Nest, the blearing music and Olympic Mascots, with re-runs of the Chinese won gold medals could only be described as propaganda. Tom pretending to be lining up for the 100m sprint, and the security guards busy with stopping people popping under the rope for the all important photos crossing the finishing line was a very entertaining afternoon.
For our final day in Beijing, we headed to the Great Wall, the views and vast expanse of the wall is quite amazing, especially considering when it was built. That said, it's just a big brick wall!!
Beijing's a city with so much to do, with so little time we saw the highlights knowing that much more was there to be discovered.
There are more photos below