Oh sunny day

Thursday, October 8th dawned as a bright sunny day. It felt a bit strange after the smog days we had but also because Curtis left for work and Lucille and I headed out on our own.

We started walking south and were soon were heading to Chaoyang Park (Sun Park).

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Slightly used

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Chaoyang Park is the biggest park in Beijing at about 2.8 kilometers long by 1.5 kilometers wide and hosted the beach volleyball events for the 2008 Olympic Games. It is also the same park that I saw in my first full day in Beijing when Lucille and I went to Solana Mall. Granted, we were at the other end and it was raining.

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I finally found some local exotic wildlife on my trip.

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Well, they did have an accent.

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Solana across the lake

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Love the sign

There is a really nice walking path in the park so we walked for quite a ways checking out different aspects of the park.

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By now we were at the amusement park area.

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Washrooms

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It was already getting close to lunch time so we headed to the subway to go back to Niuge Jiaozi Dumplings near the Forbidden City.

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Not even that busy on the subway

When we got to the dumpling place it was a lot less busy than the first time we tried it. But the food tasted just as good.

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Only customers

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We were going to head to Tian’anmen Square but decided to go revisit Jingshan Park to see the view in the clear air.

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We came in the east gate this time and found a path that climbed up about 3/4 of the hill without any stairs.

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The only stairs to the top today

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I found another cool tree trunk to shoot

Visibility was much better today so I decide to take a few more photos to compare to yesterdays.

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Forbidden City

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Forbidden City Panorama

We walked around to the west side to get a look at Beihai Park.

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There’s mountains back there

Since we could see so much today I went to the north side too.

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Towers at Olympic Park in the distance

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We were done checking out the view so we headed back down the hill to go visit Tian’anmen Square.

Along the way we stopped to smell the flowers.

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Since it is a fairly long walk we made a pit stop before leaving the park.

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Sign in the washroom

I thought the sign was cute but I wasn’t taking photos of the squat toilets.

I stopped to grab a few shots of the moat and wall of The Forbidden City since we had to pass right by it.

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Almost an hour later we arrived at Tian’anmen Square.

It is a huge area; intended to hold up to 600,000 people and yet there isn’t a bench to be found.

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North Gate

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Mausoleum of Mao Zedong on the left and The Monument to the People’s Heroes

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Big flower basket

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The Monument to the People’s Heroes is 125 feet tall  and is has a single guard on each side.

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You can not get very close to the monument as they have it chained off some distance away.

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National Museum of China

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Security guard with surveillance tower behind him

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The flowers were starting to look a little worse for wear but not bad considering the date on the calendar.

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Nice quiet station

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Traaaaaaaaaaain! He turned off his lights as he got to the station

Olympic park was to be our next stop and it was a couple of transfers to get there but we found it ok.

Getting from the station to Olympic Park proved harder than the journey there. We found ourselves walking on the scenic route.

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IBM has a pretty cool building

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Saw a small load being put on the truck

Finally we made it.

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You are Here “G3”

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I’m not sure what services they actually offer

Like so many places we had been, Olympic Park was a rather large area. Olympic Stadium; The Bird’s Nest, is the most impressive building there. It sits on the east side of Pangu Plaza and the Beijing National Aquatic Centre or Water Cube is on the west side.

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Bird’s Nest in the late afternoon sun

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Water Cube

We walked around for a while more while we waited for Curtis to come and meet us.

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Beijing is trying for winter Olympics

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Rosie’s sister made this leg. Rosie was too worse for wear to travel

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Water Cube close-up

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Looking west 

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By now Curtis was leaving work so we started to make our way back to the subway station to meet him.

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We met up with Curtis and took started our subway journey towards food.

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The subways were a lot busier by this time.

We had Italian for supper at Annie’s Italian Restaurant. It wasn’t terrible but it certainly wasn’t the best Italian I’ve ever had. From Annie’s we made our way to Peter’s Tex-Mex in search of a good strawberry margarita. I didn’t think we found it. It was a pretty average drink.

We flagged down a cab with no problems and headed home.

It was so much walking today that I wore out my shoes. We did 37,197 steps today but very little stairs.

We played some aggravation; I got my ass kicked and it was bedtime.

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