Well the heat in our cabin last night meant little sleep was managed by either of us. We arrived in Beijing early morning in a snow storm so we went from 30°C to 0°C in 1 second. Checked into our hostel and then set off to try and sort out some visas for Russia. Decided we would go and book everything through a travel agent as we expect the Russian Embassy will either have staff who speak Chinese or Russian so we may struggle a bit (although Nick thinks he learnt quite a bit of Russian on the sightseeing bus!!) We must have encountered the most unhelpful travel agent in the whole of China who did not know anything about Russian visas (you need to bear in mind that this travel agent only sells train tickets to Russia?????) Decided to give up on our quest for a visa for the day and went to the Military Museum instead (my choice obviously - NOT!!) I was pleasantly surprised though instead of a bewildering array of articles associated with war this museum had laid out the different wars China had been involved in along with the history (now that's how a museum should be!) This evening we had booked food in our hostel, the menu said Hotpot which sounded okay and we were expecting some sort of Chinese stew with rice or noodles. When we arrived it would seem Hotpot means you are given a pot full of boiling water along with lots of different vegetables which you then cook yourself??? I decided this was not for me as the cooking utensils were also the eating utensils (the OCD was out in force) Nick tucked in although he wasn't too happy as cooking and eating with chopsticks meant dinner took 1 ½ hours! He was pleased however that everything on the table had actually been killed in advance!