|The "Guide Map of the Jinshanling Great Wall"
|The Great Wall
For dinner that evening we just stayed local and went to the shopping mall (where we'd been for lunch the day before). After looking around all the restaurants we decided on a place where you got a barabeque in middle of table. On this we cooked up some lamb and cod amongst other things. We bought some beers at the local shop to drink back in our hotel room.
14/04/12 - Our massage was booked for 11am, so we got to have a long lie in. Even so we still managed to get down to the hotel breakfast before it finished. The Dragonfly Spa was very fancy. We seemed to be the only people there at the time. We had opted for the one hour Chinese massage (there were a variety a different massage styles to choose from), which at about £16 each were probably far more expensive than you would pay in less fancy establishment. The massage was nice, with a few slightly sore moments.
|The Temple of Heaven
We decided to walk back to the hotel via some hutongs. We initially thought that they might have all been demolished due to another new underground station being built, but on crossing a major road we found they were still standing (although some recent demolition was evident). We'd heard about a fancy restaurant in the former American embassy in the old legation district, so we tried to find it. We weren't able to find it, but did find a nice old street to walk down (Dongjiaominxiang Alley, which is apparently the longest alley in Beijing) with an old church on the corner. We passed a big sports centre with lots of people playing either football or basketball. We also walked through the huge mirrored Oriental Plaza where the Grand Hyatt hotel was.
15/04/12 - For our last day in Beijing we went to the Summer Palace - it's essentially a huge park surrounding a lake on the outskirts of the city. We got the hotel concierge to flag us down a taxi to take us there. The journey took about 40 mins. Again it was a really hot day.
|Kite flying in the Summer Palace
We did go on a boat though, getting the ferry across the Kunming Lake, which was far cheaper (a few 10s of pence I think) than the gondola. On the Seventeen-Arch bridge there were quite a few people with kites who had attained a serious height with them! We could have spent hours in the park, but it was hot and we were quite tired out and decided to head home. At this point the wind picked up and blew up dust and also made the lake rather choppy, which was interesting for all the people out on it in peddloes.
To get home none of the officially licensed taxis wanted to take us using the fare calculated on the meter and were all asking for more than it should be. So, we took the risk of an unofficial taxi who was going to charge us less (about £10). Despite it being an unofficial taxi it was all okay and we got back without incident.
|Overlooking Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace
Afterwards we just headed back to the hotel to pack our bags for the trip to Hangzhou in the morning. We attempted to use the huge bath in out hotel room, but it was so big and took too long to fill to a reasonable level, so was abandoned after I had a little paddle!