We are back from Beijing — the trip actually started out kind of awful. Our departure and return flights were both delayed, we had some money issues, and then we got lost (a lot). Oh and please, don’t make me recall the horrors that are the Chinese public restrooms. However, the good definitely overshadowed the bad, and here is my Beijing trip in review.
- The Great Wall — The obvious highlight and my main reason for visiting. The hike was brutal, but luckily we work out (flex). Seeing The Great Wall in real life is such a heady experience, the Wall winds through the hills like a stone snake, expanding in every direction before disappearing out of sight. Standing on something so monolithic and ancient truly makes you realize how small everything else is in comparison.
- Street food — You can get everything from shark to testicles and back again. I was a fan of the beef sliders, pot stickers, milk tea (I drank 3 in as many hours) and candied fruit on a stick (a revelation!) Jared ate three deep fried scorpions (I did not).
This is how they do crawdads in China (not the same as Texas).
- The Forbidden City — Jared and I were both surprised by the starkness of the interior. The “garden” consisted of stone bricks. However, the architecture was beautiful, we enjoyed taking pictures, and couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.
- The train ride from Beijing to Badaling – A great way to see more of the country! I found these directions on Tumblr, they are fairly accurate except you should get in Line 6 instead of Line 3. And DO NOT be tempted by the promising “Beijing Railway Station” subway stop. That is NOT the correct subway stop!! You want “Beijing North Railway Station” to Badaling. We were lost for a couple of hours.
- Old man tea party — After getting lost on the subway, we were both frustrated, hot, and really hungry. We headed into a small cafeteria in the railway station where three Chinese men bid us sit with them and served us tea at a traditional tea service while we ate broccoli dumplings. Oh and taught us some Chinese (which I promptly forgot).
These are the moments I live for.