From Hutong to tennis

It wasn’t raining on October 5th but it certainly wasn’t a bright sunny day by any means. Air quality wasn’t what I would call  good as it had a white, hazy look to everything in the distance.

All I knew of today’s plan was were going to The China Open to watch tennis with tickets Lucille and Curtis had acquired from a manager at Element Fresh. It pays to be regulars.

We headed to the subway as a usual start to adventure.

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Seems pretty quiet this morning

We were heading to the Bell and Drum Towers via the Yu’er Hutong. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.

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Just a little busier than the subway.

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Not as many interesting things to see here as 798 but some stuff for sure.

Either that is a scrawny Smurf or a big blue rat.

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Map makes it look so organized

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Man selling paper sculptors

The Bell tower came into view and I realized that meant there would be some stairs.

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There were stairs alright. I was too tired to take photos of them on the way up.

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View from the top of the Drum Tower.

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View from the top of the Drum Tower in another direction.

No danger of getting a sunburn today obviously.

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Maybe we can see better inside.

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Checked out the cool drums so time to head back down.

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Looks steep

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Looking Bell Tower

More stairs to get to the top of the Bell Tower too. It’s only 70 stairs to get near the top. 70 big steep stairs mind you.

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The Drum Tower from the Bell Tower

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My, what a big bell

I don’t know how far away from the Bell Tower you can hear the bell but looking at the size of it I’m betting it’s a long way.

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That’s a big fish too

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The Hutong beside the Bell Tower

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A tourist taking a photo of a tourist getting their photo taken.

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As we left the Bell Tower we ran into a group of Canadian Tourists. They had been touring around for a few days and were off to The Great Wall tomorrow. (Spoiler alert; tomorrow is a bad air day so they probably won’t see much of the wall.) We chatted with them for a bit before they had to go for a rickshaw tour of the neighbouring Hutong.

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The Canadians heading to the Hutong

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Visibility isn’t getting any better

We wandered back into some of the Hutongs to go see about lunch.

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Street artist with a very serious subject

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I remember sitting down here and moving to this table. I can’t remember if we ate anything.

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We would see a lot more of those hair accessories in the days to come

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Cat hair with my food. No thanks

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Lots of vehicles had wood covering the wheels. Pee guard maybe?

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Nice courtyard at Great Leap

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Another cool doorway

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Slightly rusty bicycle

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Grandma?

By this time we had made our way to Qianhai Lake.

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Distracted boating

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Interesting looking bar

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Not your usual bar seating

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Vogue!

Always something to see in Beijing.

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I have no idea what the game was or how it’s played

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Another cool doorway

As we walked along we were soon in Houhai Park along Houhai Lake. Houhai is the much larger of the two lakes and it had a lot of stuff going on along it’s shores.

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The exercise equipment is all being used

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This guy is serious

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Some bigger boats on this lake

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I certainly wouldn’t swim in there

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Lucille trying out the back massager.

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My arty shot of the haze.

There were lots of people fishing but one guy seemed to take it to the next level.

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That’s a looooong fishing pole.

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The air doesn’t seem that bad.

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Maybe the air is not so good.

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I know I missed the focus but it’s another cool door.

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I was trying to show the different fashions but the guy got in the way.

Along one side of the lake is a line of bars. All of them had windows and doors open and live music blaring away. Most of it sounded like someone killing a cat to me so I wouldn’t of gone into them. 1 had a good singer, I never understood what she was saying but it sounded nice.

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He was enthusiastic at least.

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They look like they are enjoying themselves.

We found a quite spot by the lake to stop and have a beverage.

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It was a very serious menu.

I people watched while we were sitting there.

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The tree blocked his Hello Kitty balloon.

Properly hydrated, we started making our way back to the subway to head to the tennis match.

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It had the Starbucks logo but not the word.

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The subway is a bit busier now.

We came out of the subway near the tennis centre and we finally saw the sun.

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It was getting close to sunset time and that was as much colour I’ve seen for sunset here.

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The tennis centre is a cool looking place.

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The Diamond Court

We had decided to eat once we were at the tennis center and it was a bit slim for choices.

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Tube Station Pizza wasn’t bad at all

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In a blue funk?

Still had some time to kill before the match so I had time to shoot some more stadium area.

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The “Ask Me” guy.
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Mercedes had a big booth as they appeared to be a major sponsor.

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Back seat of the Maybach

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My, what a big racket you have.

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Rosie wanted a photo before the match started.

It was time to head into our seats.

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The view from our seats.

I’ve never been to a tennis match so I was looking forward to seeing it live as all sports are better live.

We were excited to see Canadian Milos Raonic play. He was ranked 5th and we figured it would be fun to watch.

I’m sure what followed was the most boring match in the history of the world.

Raonic served first and each won his game but not easily. His opponent, Viktor Troicki won his game quite easily on his serve. This went back and forth till they were tied at 4 games each then Troicki broke for serve and went on to win the first set 6-4.

Exactly the same results in the 2nd set.

 

Troicki wins 6-4, 6-4. Raonic looked terrible.

 

 

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The victor signing some balls.

There was still another match we could watch but if we wanted to catch the subway home we had to leave.

Boring ending to a pretty good day. Did 20,469 steps today.

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One thought on “From Hutong to tennis

  1. Very nice! It makes me tired seeing all those stairs, I would never have got past this day 🙂 Poor air quality too! You did well though!

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