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Published: April 6th 2011
Today was a leisurely one for us here in Beijing! After the crazy touristness of the past few days, we decided a rest day was in order. We all had a lie in and sat around in our PJs...even when housekeeping came to clean the room! I then popped off to the gym to try and stretch out my poor leg muscles. I have been struggling since the Great Wall and I am not really sure it worked, but it was worth a try! Mum then brought the kids to meet me and we all had a some fun in the swimming pool, before a light lunch back in the room.
We didn't emerge from the hotel until about 1.30pm when we ventured around the block to see what was nearby. Rather frustratingly, we found a huge shopping centre, complete with restaurants and a supermarket, albeit an expensive export one, coupled with Gap and Uniqlo amongst other interesting shops. We also found the entrance to the famous Wangfujing snack street, although we didn't go in as mum wasn't feeling too much like trekking today! After a rest back in the hotel, we had a fun tea at Pizza Hut before
heading out for our evening activities.
When we were first in Shanghai, Ian and I were taught Chinese by a lady called Zenobia, who then subsequently moved to Beijing. We had been so busy in our last few days, we hadn't had time to contact her, but did so yesterday and we had arranged to meet her this evening. We asked her to take us to a tea house and so we met at 'NanGuoGuXiang', a famous hutong nearby to where we are staying. It was an amazing place....a long street with lots of little streets coming off it....filled with tiny bars, cafes and shops selling allsorts. We stopped to buy tea for mum's friend and they let us try a few different ones. Eventually we came to the teahouse and I think they were a little surprised to see us Westerners coming in, but Zenobia reassured them! The tea came complimentary with the bits of food around, but we had already eaten, having been told by a Chinese friend of Ian's that you wouldn't be eating in a teahouse...typical! Anyway, we boldly tried a few bits and the kids, especially Sophie, were very good when they kept bringing
different things for them to try. Mum bravely munched her way through lotus seeds and Chines dates, and even a quick taste of white mushrooms, which grow on the wall apparently, in her soup! So, a lovely evening had by all and all the more enjoyable to be taken by someone in the know!
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