Thursday, May 14, 2009
Day I in Peking (Beijing)
The day started with a hearty breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant. From French Toast over dumplings to fried fish, everything was available. We took two plates full at once as we were of course late and the buffet about to be cleared away. Our hotel is so conveniently located that we walked down Wangfujing Avenue by the only Catholic church where we saw an art exhibition, past Armani and Hermes stores to Tienanmen Square. At the square we entered the Forbidden City and took a tour across the 1 km long grounds of the palace. Afterward, a taxi took us across town to the Beijing Zoo to see the Giant Pandas. All day, we were not sure if it was cloudy or the sky just filled with smok; we never saw the sun. In the evening, it even began to rain. After a curious dinner at the Peking Duck Restaurant where the waitress didn't understand the difference between raw and cooked veggies (remember: in China don't eat anything you cannot peel unless it has been cooked!) and then poured Danielle's water on her pants. Thus, it made not difference that we got wet trying to catch a taxi in the rain to get back to the hotel. We passed out upon impact with the bed around 7 pm.