The difficulty to a well planned, feature packed tour is when, like today, your train is almost three hours late and it puts a kink into the busy schedule. After a quick check in at the hotel, shower and change of cloths however we were off to Tiananmen Square. As mentioned in our last post today is China’s National Day and people from all over China were in the Square. Many of these people were from parts of China where I don’t think they see many tourists because we quickly became the center of attraction. People stopped taking pictures of the buildings and sights and began taking pictures of our group. We have many younger kids with blonde and red hair and the Chinese were fascinated. Our group had so many people wanting to take pictures with us, that the young kids felt like rock stars. One man who was charging visitors to take their picture in front of the large picture of Chairman Mao took advantage of the opportunity, and started charging people to take pictures with our group.
Our walk through the square took us across the road to the Zhong Shan Park which is beautiful but the Chinese “paparazzi” were hot on our tail. The square and the park are amazing though with such an interesting mix of the old and the new China melding together. We continued our walk through the city to the Opra house and other historic buildings. the The traffic in Beijing was nearly impossible at times and our bus driver was amazing as he maneuvered through it like it was a Sunday drive in the country as we made our way back to the hotel for some much needed rest.