|The hutongs near Jishuitan
After satiating ourselves we got the underground to Jishuitan to start our walk. To start this involved walking down a very busy shopping street (Xinjiekou Bei Dajie), which included a large array of guitar/ instrument shops. We turned off the main street into alleys of hutongs, some of which had been remade and some were more original. In most of the hutongs there was something for sale like fruit, drinks (all food and drink in this area was on sale far cheaper than on the main streets, but we didn't take advantage of this), bike repairs, or even doors. There were generally children about and clothes drying outside, so they were all homes as well as businesses. We purposely went slightly off the directed walk route, but got ourselves back to the right place quite easily.
|The shrine to the 'four immortals' (including a hedgehog) in
Prince Gong's palace
After leaving the palace we walked past through more hutongs towards the bottom end of the Houhai Lake, and then on the Qianhai (where we'd ended up on the first night). Looking in to some of the courtyards we passed we could see that they'd been done-up and looked very fancy. We walked round Qianhai (there weren't any bands playing in the bars this time, but we did see a bar by Houhai that sold "Fucking good mojitos") through lots of hutongs that had been rebuilt with tourists wanting to see "old style Beijing" in mind. We stopped for an ice-cream (a rum and raisin Cornetto cup for Jen) before walking up to the Drum Tower.
|Armchair dogs on Gu Lou Dong Da Jie
We walked back to the hotel through a park area in the middle of a wide boulevard (Beiheyan Street). We saw little children and parents playing, many small dogs and children doing homework.
Back near the hotel there was a Dragonfly Spa, so we booked massages for the Saturday morning (the day after our Wall walk). We also bought water/ beers/ crisps for our packed lunch on the walk.
|Dessert at Hua's Restaurant