Beijing – A Bustling City
Our first stop in China was Beijing. We arrived at the SunWorld Dynasty Hotel on December 22, 2016. I was thankful for George, our guide who walked us through every step and translated for us when necessary.
This photo shows the inner courtyard where we ate breakfast each morning. The bright room in the back is the breakfast buffet which was absolutely huge. Very impressive.
I mentioned that in Beijing we toured some of the local spots and used these few days to catch our balance after the long flight and time difference.
We went to The Great Wall at Juyong Pass. This photo shows the steep side. We decided to climb the other side of the pass which was plenty steep for me. Those of you who know my history with fearing heights can appreciate that decision. 🙂
I climbed until panic set in and then came down on my behind. Full disclosure here.
It is said that if you climb the Great Wall you are considered a hero.
It is said that if you climb the Great Wall you are considered a hero. Click To Tweet
Tiananmen Square: the security was very high here. We needed our bags to go through security and we were scanned with a wand as well.
I remember the massacre in 1989 here so there was an eery feeling to this place.
The Forbidden City is called forbidden because the common people were not permitted to enter. This is the palace of the Emperor. It was walled with gates similar to the gates mentioned in the Old Testament. The inner and outer courts are also reminiscent of the Temple in Jerusalem where only certain people were allowed to enter. I found these details fascinating.
Gearing Up for Gotcha Day
One last experience in Beijing was a trip to the local Walmart. I found it very different from home, yet similar too. Some of the differences had to do with raw chickens hanging on meat hooks, odd seafood on ice, seaweed piled up like our spring lettuce mix, and the fact that you cannot get any medications at all. No pharmacy. And, you must pay cash for your purchases. Thankfully I brought a shopping bag from home because they charge you for plastic bags.
Our mission was to gather baby items we would need for our little ones: diapers, wipes, milk, snacks, bottles, and some bought strollers, clothing and shoes.
Walmart here in the states exhausts me. I feel like I am in a maze and never seem to have a good strategy for gathering needed items. There is no such thing as a quick trip to Walmart. The Chinese Walmart added the different labels, currency, Chinese characters, unknown ingredients, and the language barrier to the stress.
Little did I know I would miss having it so close. Once we went on to our next province, we didn’t have anything like that within walking distance other than a 7/11 store. I wished we had stocked up a bit more on things but suitcase space was at a premium.
Leaving Beijing for Henan Province
Leaving Beijing meant that Gotcha Day was near. We left on Christmas Day by Bullet Train for a three hour trip. The train traveled 180 miles an hour (300 Kph) and was very clean and comfortable.
We would meet Little Dude the following day. We felt the excitement and also the apprehension of how everything would be as we met him for the first time. Physically we were prepared with all the necessary supplies. Emotionally we had waited for this day for almost a year. And, we had no idea how he would react to us.
We were holding our breath while holding him in our hearts…till December 26th Gotcha Day.
Thanks for coming along on this journey,
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Resources about The Forbidden City