Well it’s finally here my 60th birthday trip (well birthday’s not until the 26th). Our first stop is in China and the fascinating city of Beijing.
After our ten hour flight and as we were making our final approach into Beijing airport I couldn’t help noticing how flat the area was around the city was. But more amazingly the amount of tall residential blocks you could see, literally thousands of them, mile after mile, all very gray and similar in design. It looked like a scene from a sci-fi film. It’s no wonder though as Beijing 23,000,000 inhabitants have got to live somewhere.
Our transit through immigration was a breeze and we were soon in our taxi on our way to our accommodation “Kelly’s Courtyard” a really lovely small hotel which I would recommend highly, in the heart of one of Beijings Hutong districts and very close to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. After checking in and. dropping our bags We decided to have a walk around the imidiate area to get our bearings also to refrain from taking a sleep owing to the jet lag. It was immediately noticeable that things were not going to be easy on this part of our trip. Firstly we were going to have no idea of the language or even trying to decipher it with the aid of the guide book, and what on earth were we going to do when it came to eating.We didn’t have a clue as to what was on the menus and from what we have read we really did need to know. (As they do eat a multitude of strange things the Chinese, some I’m sure wouldn’t be to appetising), in fact later on in our trip we saw a menu serving hedgehog and also donkey, Mmm lovely. One other big problem was the fact that unlike other countries that I have visited, very few people speak any English at all. It was even a struggle to find a place for a cup of coffee ( I know we are in China they drink tea, but I hate the stuff). Luckily we came across a really a nice place called “1901” a really old establishment steeped in history We settled down and was initially going to have a nice cup of coffee and a cake but after seeing the prices we decided on just coffee which was £4, and £4.75 for just a small piece of cake so we just had coffee. We were beginning to think at this stage perhaps we should have carried onto Kuala Lumper without stopping in Beijing. But we both agreed this was down to the fact that we had just had a long journey and we were extremely tired. John the owner of Kelly’s courtyard recommended us to a really nice restaurant nearby with a menu we could understand “we hadn’t just learnt Chinese it had pictures” although there were some strange looking offerings, there were also some familiar ones “things were looking up”. Our mood was changing. New day tomorrow.