Too Many People, Too Much Sun, and the Center of the Universe

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August 22nd 2010
Published: September 1st 2010
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Well, today's my last day in Beijing and it's finally a perfect, sunny day. This is the first time I've actually seen the sun --the haze is gone thanks to the rain we got yesterday.

My friend and I met up at 930am and wandered (much to the annoyance of the rickshaw drivers who wanted our money) our way over to Prince Gong's mansion. The mansion is one of the oldest and largest traditional homes in China and it's a very popular tourist attraction. We managed to find one quiet corner in a space too small for the tour groups. We rested (it was hot with all that sun!) and watched the people. In between groups it was actually quite peaceful. We poked around a bit, gave up fighting the crowds, and left. Additionally, there were no signs in English, so for us it wasn't a very meaningful museum.

We went to Olympic Park next. Neither of us had been there yet, either. The Water Cube and Bird's Nest were quite impressive. I couldn't stop squinting at them in amazement and snapping photos so I could have a better look later. The sidewalks were white and there were no trees, so the glare of the sun was really too much and the squinting became painful quite quickly.

We grabbed lunch at Starbucks and chatted away, enjoying the air conditioning before heading out in search of a restaurant I'd been recommended for dinner. We wandered and got lost (the roads have changed a bit since my 2007 map was printed) and then finally found it, tucked down a side street.

After dinner we walked back to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square so I could see it all lit up. Then we headed back to my neck of the woods for some beers. It was the perfect way to finish a wonderful trip.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Swim, swimSwim, swim
Swim, swim

I like it at night when it's blue.
Me and Mao, together againMe and Mao, together again
Me and Mao, together again

I love all the lights.

2nd September 2010

Seems that you had a great time in Beijing. What other major cities in China do you have left to visit?
2nd September 2010

cities left to try and visit
Major cities left include Xian and other smaller cities around Shanghai/Hangzhou. Also want to visit Nanjing. And I should probably see Hunan at some point because it seems like everyone I meet is from Hunan. and I would like to see Dalien because I want to look at N Korea.

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