First stop: Beijing

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April 12th 2011
Published: April 12th 2011
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I started with the tour group Gap Adventures today and i am really impressed. So far, they really let us do whatever we want with the group which gives us a lot of free time to do our own thing, which i like. The group consists of 15 people and a chinese tour guide which speaks English well. The group is broken down like this:

I am the only American
1 girl from Chile (solo)
1 guy from spain (solo)
3 from germany (a recently married couple and a girl traveling solo)
2 girls from denmark (friends traveling together)
2 guys from australia (traveling together)
5 from the U.K. (1 couple, and 3 girls each traveling solo)

Out of the 15, around 10 are on round-the-world trips like me, but most are finishing theirs up whereas i just started mine. The good news is my plan is to go to all these countries anyways so i can meet up with these people later in my trip.

Anyways, i saw the forbidden city and that area which was really awesome. Pictures will come next week cause the internet is still really slow and i heard will be again at the next place. After the forbidden city and Tiananmen Square we went to dinner and most of us saw a kung-fu show put on in a Cirque du Soleil style. After we went to the night market which is famous for serving various bugs and insects as snacks like scorpions (which are alive until you buy it, i guess they like it fresh), seahorses, starfish, snakes, lizards, worms, chicken fetus, beetles and much more. No I didnt try anything but when i get to thailand next month i might try something a little less weird.

We also spent a day at the Great Wall. Most of us took a cable car ride up to a certain section then spent over an hour climbing up and down about 20 different gates (soooo tough) before our hour and a half trip back where we got on a toboggan run down the last little section where we were greeted by a classic Chinese restaurant called Subway. My legs are still killing me 2 days later.

With the last day in Beijing to ourselves, a few of us woke up early and went to the Summer Palace. I was actually disappointed
Temple of HeavenTemple of HeavenTemple of Heaven

I tried to do a self shot but was constantly being bumped into, a common theme so far throughout china
with it cause it was so big of an area and there really wasn’t much in it. They did have a big lake that gave a great view of the main palace, which we climbed up, twice actually cause the only exit was from the top. After our famously chinese lunch at McDonalds, we went over to the olympic park and saw the cool stadiums that were built for the last olympics. They were much more massive then I expected. On the walk back to the subway, we saw a Segway course you can try so i thought i would knock of one of my goals of the trip and try it with my new friend from London. The segways were actually fun to ride but the ones we were riding had a safety device that prevents you from going to fast, but when that kicks in you can’t really control them for the next few seconds, which caused my friend to run over a cone and rope causing him to crash. The segway kept going though and i looked up from laughing to notice two groups of 50 chinese tourist laughing at him too. I guess people hurting themselves is funny in the east and west. My friend wasnt really injured but that did cause them to follow us closely the last little bit. Next we caught the overnight train to Shanghai.

Oh and i have a little surprise for everyone throughout this trip. with the help of some co-workers, we came up with a clever idea of a picture to do at all the major sites throughout my trip. So even though i have very limited space in my bag, i bought a "where's waldo" costume and have been throwing it on so far at the great wall and tiananmen square. Everyone on my trip loves it, except they call it "where's wally" or "donde esta wally". The chinese don't seem to understand what i'm doing and just watch me carefully cause i'm in a red and white long sleeve shirt, winter hat, and fake glasses with tons of people laughing at me as I pose and join random crowds of tourists. these should make for some good pics which i will try to post soon. Hopefully i will try to go back and write some more details about these sites and will be able to post
The Great WallThe Great WallThe Great Wall

Yeah, I climbed to the top of that mountain
something from shanghai but its 6am here and i'm going to grab some food and pack up for the day and tonight.

Additional photos below
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Dinner... Peking DuckDinner... Peking Duck
Dinner... Peking Duck

no joke, we had one of those ducks and they taste amazing

13th April 2011

Where's Waldo?
I can't wait to see Where's Waldo!!!! You should try to blend in to other people's background pictures! They will find you in tourist pictures all over the world!
15th April 2011

keep writing, great stuff Waldo! lol

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