On the Sunday before leaving Tianjin, visited a huge water park divided into nine islands and three lakes with Chinese traditional pavilions, gardens, bridges and pagodas. Took a forty minute boat ride around the waterways. At night Max joined us for a visit to the Observation Wheel, Tianjin Eye - the world's only gigantic wheel built over a bridge. Along the river men had bowls containing baby tortoises and small fish for sale.
On Monday travelled by fast train to Beijing, a journey of half an hour at 291kms per hour. A very smooth ride! Max had the misfortune to be pee'd on by a baby sitting next to him. It appears some of them don't wear nappies, but a garment open from the front to the back allowing them to do their business whenever and wherever they need to. Did we laugh!!!!
We have experienced the very poor neighbourhoods on our walks and some really sad sights of beggars, crippled and crawling on the streets and trains.
We travelled on the subway to the Beijing Olympic area and saw the Birds Eye lit up at night and the swimming complex 'Cube'. Managed to jam ourselves into trains with the locals. A packed train no longer deters us!
Visited the Forbidden City, the largest and best preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China. We then took a Rickshaw to Tiananmen Square.
Wednesday we went to the Great Wall at Badaling and climbed some very steep steps and slopes. The views are incredible. One of the sections is called the 'Heroe's Climb' so we are now officially heroes! The travel book suggests going during the week to avoid the crowds. We hate to think how many people there are visiting on the weekends. In some sections we could hardly move. We learnt how to stand our ground - you can't move forward unless you shove your way through. We went up to the top via a cable car and returned the same way. To walk via the wall is a very long way. We are now proud owners of jumpers claiming 'we walked the Great Wall'. Everyone and his dog does trips to Badaling. It was so nice to go via private vehicle and dine with the interpreter and the driver(compliments of the University).
Until next time.