Ok, so we survived the 6 day journey from Russia to Beijing, arrived in good spirits but in need of a shower. We were greeted at the station by our guide, Dream who took us to our chinese bed for the next few nights in the Hutong.
Later that evening we walked to the Dong Hua Men Night Market, looking at every kind of food imaginable – seahorses, starfish, spiders, snakes, centipedes, crickets, whole baby birds, live scorpions still moving … you name it, it was on a skewer and someone was eating it. We stuck to banana fritters and deep fried ice cream! Wimpy or what, but let’s face it, what would you choose?! Sadly can’t seem to upload the video Ian took of the scorpions, but he’ll stick it on Facebook for full effect.
Our time in Beijing saw us visiting the Forbidden City, however we were the tourist attractions with people stopping to ask for photos with the children every few yards.
Afterwards we became a group and were joined by the lovely Art and Chin from Malaysia to visit the Great Wall. It was so disappointing that our guide didn’t give us much time there. We were rushed up to the wall – the chair lift option for me with a 3 year old was sooooo not on, the ‘safety’ barrier went near his nose so if he hadn’t been so good sitting still, he would have gone for good. I tried holding him tightly and talking to him throughout to make sure he didn’t lunge forward and I must say, he was a star and at least he enjoyed it! Ian was really brilliant too, managing the chair lift which went high above the trees – accompanied by Orla asking him questions such as ‘if we fall, will we die?’ and ‘can I let go now?’ We can now say we have walked on the Great Wall of China. The weather was wonderful and it was so peaceful to be there.
The one thing Aoife had wanted to do, the Toboggan luge ride down, wasn’t possible due to Dream messing up the timings. We were very disappointed, it was such a shame and an avoidable situation, so that was a bit of a dampener.
The evening ended well as we were invited to join Chin and Art for a great meal of superb company and great food – Aoife (my vegetarian raised daughter) recommends the duck and the lamb! Thank you to our newly made Malaysian friends for a nice evening and lots of help translating the menu. We watched the chefs cook the ducks in wood fired ovens which were the house speciality.
Then off to bed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz