Saturday, June 4, 2011

China - Thursday, May 12

On our last full day in Beijing we spent the morning braving the subway to go to Pearl Market.  This is a massive building where you can be buy lots of things for super cheap - if you're up for bartering with the salespeople.  Some people loved it, I on the other hand was not a big fan, it stressed me out.  But I was able to got most of my souvenirs here and I did manage to always talk the people down, sometimes more than others.  After the Pearl Market we went to Tiananmenn  Square and then on to the Forbidden City.  It's not really a city, but more of a palace, and it has 9,999 rooms in it!  You would walk through a huge gate into a courtyard type place with another huge gate at the end, and it went on like that for a while.  Honestly, I did get a little bored here, but thankfully there were tons of neat things to take pictures of!

I think this is one of the very first gates.  Maybe.  I have a lot of pictures like this.

These lion statues are everywhere in China, and I always took pictures of them.

These are on the gate doors and it's good luck to rub them when you pass through.

It's Mushu from Mulan!

Later that night after dinner we were going to go on a bike tour of the city.  I was thinking we'd ride along on some sidewalks looking at the sights in the distance.  Well I was wrong.  By tour they mean ride in the middle of Beijing traffic like all of the locals do.  With the exception of those of you reading this who have actually been to China, there is no way for me to fully convey how crazy the traffic is there!  And not so much the traffic in the streets but the fact that there are so many people walking and riding bikes and mopeds.  There are just people and vehicles of all sorts everywhere and there are very few rules as to how they should move about.  Many times on the ride I really did think that I was going to get hit by a bus or cause a major accident.  It was quite stressful.  I rang the little bell on my bike a lot.  There were some times however that we did have a large bike lane to ride in or there were sidewalks, and during those times it was quite pleasant.  Would I do it again though?  Probably not.  I'm content with the memories, pictures and purple BikeBeijing bicycle key chain I got. 

I'm not so sure about this...

We did get to stop at scenic places along the way and take pictures.

By far one of the craziest nights of my life!

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