Slipping and sliding on the wall

Sunday morning a few of us jumped in the car and headed out in the fog, smog, snow and ice to the Great Wall.  I had been there once before during the summer and wasn’t sure what to expect on this day in January.  The further we got from Beijing the more snow we ran into but at least the fog wasn’t so bad.  Going up the last hill to the Great Wall the car finally got stuck in the 2″ of so of loose snow on the road and we had to jump out and push it the rest of the way.

We rode up the chairlift and a few minutes later stepped off on top of the Great Wall of China.

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The walk was really nice, it was snowing lightly at times and it required my full attention to (mostly) keep my feet underneath me navigating up and down the somewhat steep angles as we walked along.  There were very few people there and the quiet and solitude was a nice change from my previous visit.

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On the road again

I’ve been meaning to get this posted but the rules governing the internet in China didn’t allow me to reach WordPress so now that I’m in India…

Han’s Christian Anderson once said “To travel is to live”, okay so I only know that from watching the Amazing Race a couple weeks back, none the less it’s  still a great quote but in my case “To Travel is to work” as I visit some colleagues in China and India this week.  This was my second trip to Beijing but this time instead of being warm to really hot it was cool to really cold which being from Seattle is just fine with me (or so I thought).  After an uneventful 13 hours or so flying from Seattle I got settled into the hotel and tried to sleep a bit but bam! wide awake at 4:30 AM.

Once the sun came up it revealed a crystal clear day and the city spread out as far as the eye could see.

After a lazy morning swim and breakfast I ventured out in the neighborhood to see what was around the general area starting with the local bike repair shop.

Then I found this nice little park on the river, not sure I would have eaten the fish that came out of the river though.

It was about this time that I felt a nap coming like a freight train and headed back to the hotel.  That was about it for the day so I spent the rest of the night napping and reading.

The next morning I met up with some co-workers to go see some sights, the last time I was in Beijing I didn’t make it to the Temple of Heaven so that was high on my list as we set out.

The temple is in an enormous park and it it was full of people doing all manner of things; Tai Chi, meditation, and these people enjoying some polka in the morning.

After a bit of a walk we found ourselves at the main attraction

The temple is really leaving me at a loss, it’s an amazing structure and I just sat there and stared at it for quite a while enjoying the view and sun while it lasted.

Walking back we got a little lost in the vastness of the temple grounds

But apparently we weren’t the only ones and this poor person left their coat behind.

Eventually we made our way out of the temple and then headed over to the north side of Beijing to check out the 768 Art Zone which KMJ had told me about and sounded interesting.

The art zone is an old factory complex that’s been turned into a series of indoor and outdoor gallery spaces, shops and dining.  The art all has a thoroughly modern/urban vibe so I of course really enjoyed it.

And that was that, the temperature at this point had dropped down into the low 20’s so we retreated to a Korean BBQ joint for some dinner and called it a night.  More on the food in a later post.