Monday, February 23, 2009
Wall to Wall Duck
After two days of steady walking, we started the day with a bus ride to the Great Wall. En route we stopped briefly at a cloisonné factory and shop—a few souvenirs were purchased, but mostly we admired the intricate artwork. Badaling, perhaps the best known section of the wall was windy and cold but the group braved the many steps and snow flurries to reach the 5th turret. At that point the group divided, with some heading further up the wall and others retreating to the bottom and the warmth of the local tea room. Panda hats were the purchase of the day-- they were cute, it was cold, the price was right!
We warmed up on the bus on the way to the Olympic venues— a look at a more modern Beijing. The bird’s nest and water cube were impressive, as was the size and scale of the Olympic Park. For the record, the water cube is not really a cube.
Our final bus stop was dinner at one of Beijing’s many duck restaurants. The official duck carver was a master with a knife and the food just kept coming! This was one of our most enjoyable meals and a fitting end to our Beijing visit. We waddled out the door and caught a quick bus back to Tiananmen Square and the hostel. Clear instructions were given for packing and cleaning—tomorrow morning we leave for the airport and flights to Chengdu and Xi’an.