Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beijing (The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square)

Breakfast and the driver picked us up at nine to go to the Forbidden City. We came in from the north and all the signs assume you’ve come from the other way. However, we missed most of the crowds and it was absolutely peaceful and beautiful in the Empress' Gardens. Once again we found the virtual cache near the temple of enlightenment. We had to take a picture of a stone. I was astounded by how large the compound was. When we exit through the huge throngs of tour groups we were across the street from Tienanmen Square. We crossed under the highway and came up in the squire. There were two of the biggest TV’s I ever saw celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. We had our picture taken in front of the monument near Mao’s tomb as part of a geocache. There was a huge queue for te mausoleum but we didn’t want to wait. The square now is decorated with red pillars for each of the 50 some odd ethnic groups that make up China.

Then we were off to Wangfujing Street, a big shopping street, where we took pictures of each other sitting in a rickshaw as part of yet another cache. Then Shanliang took us to the “most famous” roasted duck restaurant, Quanjude, where we ate the 1,4803,657th duck they have served. The duck came with a certificate number!

Phil and I shared less than half the duck which was carved and then we made little burritos like wraps as we ate it. Shanliang ate the rest of the duck – probably ¾ of the wholoe thing!

Meanwhile back to the hotel. As if we hadn’t walked far enough, we set off for a geocache in a park about 1.3 miles away off Huangsi street. It was a gorgeous park , Liuyan Park, filled with willows. It cost us 1 yuan to get in and we found the hidden cache but there was a guy playing a video game right near us. Hope he didn’t see. It was dark on the way back and we walked on the side with lots of construction so we ended up in the street with the bicycles for much of the way. We stopped at the store for wine, snacks and Pepsi for Phil.

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