23.10.16 Beijing 

We are less sprightly this among after last night’s ale crawl so plan to take it easy today! We check the map and bit seems to be a half hour walk to the Temple of Heaven park, and with the sunshine and blue skies it would be a shame to use the subway. We missed Seven Eleven on our walk and since we could find no where else to have coffee we went into another shopping plaza for food. 2 coffees and a blueberry muffin cost a third of our days budget but are sorely needed, it is 11.30am. Guy spots a noodle cafe and we decide to have early lunch (although as the locals eat at 11.30 then it is actually bang on time). The soups are delicious, spicy and flavoursome just what we needed.

Suitably restored we carry on walking to the Temple, we keep on walking for quite a few kilometres and down massive road until finally we get there, along with everyone else, or so it seems, as it is a Sunday afternoon and the sun is out so it is an obvious pastime.

Guy gets accosted for a photograph on our way in, he duly obliges, no doubt this photo will be on someone’s mantelpiece soon.

The temples are beautiful and so the Chinese are taking photos, lots of them, in all kinds of mad poses. It is fascinating people watching. We go up to the main alter which has a view over Beijing, what is most striking is the smog, it is quite clear to see it hanging over the city.

I have a green pea and mint ice cream which is lush and we walk though the Confucian designed forest to the rose garden for some more photographs in the style of a local. 

It is a lovely relaxing Sunday afternoon wandering around the park. We are leaving the park when we hear music and look over to see couples ballroom dancing in the park. Wonderful. 

We then decide to carry on walking to Tiananmen Square and pass some smiling drunk old fellas one of which had a small dog in his jacket. 

Emperor’s Walk to the square is chokka with locals, we wander down and when Guy is taking a leak (in one of the 1000’s of public loos here) I get asked for a photo, another mantelpiece adorned. 

We needed food so dived down a side street and got some Peking duck rolls. 

We then attempted to get into Tiananmen square, which wasn’t easy. We were funneled around, went through numerous queues and security checks and finally emerged into the massive oblong. Again, not a square however it is massively impressive especially with the Soviet style buildings around the outside as well. We wandered through, we slightly freaked out by the massive fake vase of flowers in the centre. Must be over 40ft high and is really surreal.

We left the square and took a backstreet to get back to ours, we were against the human traffic so had a Japanese meal at a food court. It was lush. The cabbage and miso dressing was particularly good. 

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