Thursday, October 7, 2010
Day 3 - The Summer Palace
It turns out I have had to drag myself out of bed to type this latest update. Jet lag is still dragging us down a little bit which is frustrating. Today we woke up to a smoggy (it's being called fog by our guides, but we have our doubts!) Beijing morning. We were understandably disappointed. It makes sightseeing a little less awe-insipiring. Notice I say less; it is still certainly amazing. Our guide and driver picked us up in the lobby at 9:00. We went first to the Summer Palace. It is spectacular. The grounds were breathtaking even through the haze. After that, we went to a nearby pearl store where they use fresh water oysters' pearls from nearby Kunming Lake. I found a gorgeous lavendar pearl (black pearl, but really looks like a light purple)necklace that I thought was more than a little out of our price range. Troy said this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and insisted I get it! It's beautiful! After the stop at the store, we went to the hutongs. We got rides in bike rikshaws. What a sight! I'm sure the man peddaling had doubts about having to haul Troy and me around. :) We even got to stop and see a typical home in the hutong and talk - through our guide - about his life in this ancient part of the city. Our last stop of the day was at a tea house. We learned about different kinds of tea in China. We have learned just how important tea is in the Chinese culture; it's not just a cliche! Jasmine tea is associated with Beijing, but I bought leche (sp) tea and dried rose to use with it. Again, it was money we hadn't planned to spend, and we're not sure how we'll haul it home, but as Troy pointed out, we only come to Beijing/China for the first time once! :) That was it for the day. We had planned on massages and Peking duck, but I laid down around 6:00 (after walking the pedestrian area for awhile) for a "short nap." Well, it's almost 9:00 P.M., I just changed into jammies, and Troy is snoring away as I type. I guess we're done for today! Hopefully we'll get massages tomorrow after our trip to the Great Wall and eat Peking duck as a grand finale. Jet lag is rough! We pray we're over it in a couple days. 10/10/10 = Gottcha Day!!!!!