It’s been two and a half days now in Beijing, so time for a first blog entry.
I am actually going to start even before Beijing, since for some reasons I ended up in the Premium Economy class on my flight from Istambul to Beijing. Nothing too special, maybe besides the wide sleeping seat and plenty of nice food (smile), but I felt like I had to share.
Anyways … Beijing! First impression: man it’s muggy! It’s been above 30 degrees and around 80% humidity. And of course Beijing has one of the nicest haze bells (thanks to smog) I ever experienced. But that all aside I found my way to the hotel, using the very nice and fairly cheap metro system, and started exploring the neighbourhood. I finished the day with a typical modern Chinese dish … chicken burger at KFC’s … I thought I gotta start easy on myself.
Yesterday, after being woken up by the cleaning staff (thanks to the apparently still present jet lag), I went into town to see the Tiananmen Square, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Forbidden City, the Jingshan Park and the Beihai Park. All quite nice and impressive sights, though especially in the Forbidden City it often seems to be quantity and not quality that counts … or better counted. In terms of food I went a little wilder and had some sort of peanut-chicken rice with a dumpling in the Forbidden City. After ordering it I noticed that it was re-heated ready-made food … anyways, we are getting there.
Today, again after being woken up by the cleaning staff, I went for the Summer Palace and the Yuan Ming Yuan Park (Old Summer Palace). Two huge parks with temples, shrines and pavilions or at least ruins of them. I certainly fulfilled my walking share today and … right, got yet again a bit more crazy on food … this time it was beef noodle soup (with thick noodles) with chopsticks, sausage on a stick (plain stick) and some fried-egg sandwhich (no stick).
Let’s see what tomorrow brings :)
Maybe one side comment on the metro system, as it has cost me some extra Yuan already: I have not been able to buy a multipass from any of the service employees so far. And I had to learn (the hard way) that it does not make sense buying multiple single tickets at once (to avoid the queues), since they are only valid on the day AND the station you buy them … luckily one ride is only 25 Euro cents.