Thursday 8 November, Sunny and coolish.
We've just arrived in Beijing and I'm sitting in our hotel room lounge waiting for Mum and Deb to get themselves organized. I called Mum on Tuesday afternoon and in the course of the conversation l said that l would see her tomorrow (Wednesday) and she's like "l thought it was Thursday we were leaving" and l'm thinking she's having me on but then she said she'd better call the station and cancel the train ticket for Thursday and re-book for tomorrow. And so it starts….Sheesh!!!
Beijing. We've just put our passports etc in the safe and now we can't get it open!!!! Oh boy here we go. Anyway…the flight from Melbourne to Guangzhou was pretty uneventful. I took a sleeping tablet and was out like a light for much of the flight. Deb said she only slept for about 3 hours and l don't think Mum was all that comfortable. When we got off the plane there was two hours before our flight to Beijing and we thought we'd spend that time shopping however it took us all that time to get off the plane, get through customs, catch an airport shuttle to the next terminal and find the lounge number. Just made the flight by the hair of our chinny chin chin! The weather in Guangzhou was very warm and steamy whereas here in Beijing it is cooler. The sun is out but it's chilly and there is a bit of snow on the ground outside our hotel.
We have this afternoon free so we're gonna go out and have a wander around and find somewhere to have a bite to eat.
Back from lunch. We had Chinese hahaha….Deb had short soup and Mum and l shared green onion pancakes, which was very yummy. Oh and we also had jasmine tea. All up it was 54 RMB($8.50AUS!!!) We're back at the hotel and have managed to get the safe open, yaaay now we can spend some money.
Deb is having a massage which goes for 90 minutes (220 Yuan - $30 Aus) so Mum and l went to find this pretty big shopping centre which was about 10 mins walk from the hotel. Honestly, it was a bit disappointing for this supposedly huge centre however the outside of it was pretty interesting. There was a huge chime sort of thing, an escalator surrounded by what resembled drums and tall flute like structures all in a large sunken walkway and with the Birds Nest as a backdrop. The city is very clean…l don't think l've seen any rubbish anywhere. Also, it is very quiet...no hustle and bustle…not like Hong Kong where there are people, traffic, noise and a symphony of horns all day and night which was quite surprising. Maybe we are in a quieter part of the district and tomorrow will show a different light on things. Anyway, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant and we are now back in our room. Deb's reading a book and Mum's writing stuff in her diary. It's only 8pm (11pm - same day Oz time) but we're all pretty tired and we're gonna kill the lights pretty soon.