Sorry to be slow on the updates. A lot has happened since last we wrote. After a stellar visit with Mike Brownell and Shanghai, we again made our way north to Beijing, the capital city. We arrived in Beijing a bit groggy after the overnight train, so our first day there we literally did nothing but be lazy.
The second day, it was time to embrace tourism. We again joined Niels and Natascha and the 5 of us set out on the public bus to see the Great Wall. It is a very impressive site. This was definitely one on the life list of things to see. We spent of most of the day walking along the wall, and taking it all in. Needless to say, we didn't cover much of it in our hours spent on the wall, but it was a bit of a workout up and over the mountains.
The wall is over 5,000Km long, and is 4.5-9 meters thick and nearly 8 meters tall (25 feet). We can only imagine Ghengis' frustration running up against that:)
Our evenings in Beijing were largely spent hanging out in our youth hostel and finding good eats out on the street. The meat eaters among us sampled our first dog meat (knowingly at any rate- see the menu pic). Tasty enough, but we won't be seeking it out. We were staying only a five minute walk from Tianenmen Square (incidentally, it is the largest public square in the world), and so that was also a great place to take it all in. One of our evenings we decided to splurge and go out properly in Beijing. We made some friends and found a great rooftop bar. It was very New Haven in China for CB and KK.
The other must see of Beijing is the Forbidden City, so called as it was strictly off-limits to all but the dynasty for 500 years. It is an amazing site, but sadly much of it is now closed off to be done up for the olympics in 08. We tried, but we'll maybe have to go back:)
After a few days in Beijing, we said goodbye to Niels and Natascha who returned to the Netherlands. Ruairi had met up with them in a record 5 countries (we only saw them in 2), and it was sad to see them go. After that, we started formulating plans to head north and a bit west. Much more to come on those adventures om the next installment.
CB and KK
p.s. we had an incident with Kate's original Dirty Jers shirt. It was a fine and much loved shirt and will be missed. We can only hope that the new one will fill the hole in Kate's heart