Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back to BeiJing

Back in Bei Jing, I met up with the tour group the first evening in the city. It was our first day together as a tour group. Several people had been in BeiJing for a few days. I will introduce the people over the next few posts. The tour I was on was organized by my friend from Melbourne, Ewen Bell and run by Grasshopper Tours. The tour nominally includes 8 people, Ewen and out guide.

I had spent the day wandering south through the city with Elliot, one of my co-travelers and room mate for the first few days. We had lunch south of the BeiJing railway station. I ordered hot and sour soup, but while good, it was not the real thing. Instead is was egg flower soup, with chicken and pepper. I also had a bit of difficulty with the difference when ordering between two bowls of soup and one bowl of soup with two bowls. Ah well, that's what happens when your Chinese is not so good.

In the hutongs south of the station we came across a octagonal church. The man there could not explain in English what type of church it was. He wanted 100 元, but at first I did not understand what he wanted 100 of and then decided that was a bit ridiculous. We moved on.

"church" by yewenyi [?]

Next we came to the southern wall. The tower here was the one attacked in the Allied invasion during the boxer revolt. The Chinese are still furious with the amount of damage caused to national artifacts at this time by the invading British. Anyway I am guessing that the tower was rebuilt after the war. Further along the wall is the hole in the city wall made to let the railway line through when the British built a railway line from here to the north.

"tower" by yewenyi [?]

We wandered back to the city and met up with the others. We met in the foyer. Everyone was relaxed and it was a nice group of people. First things were about getting to know each other and to understand the organization. We went out for our first dinner, PeiKing duck in a hutong restaurant.

"restaurant" by yewenyi [?]

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