So much to see, so little time

Monday, October 12th dawned as a calm and sunny day. It was also the day I would be saying goodbye to Lucille, Curtis and Beijing. I was a bit sad to be going home with still so much to be seen, but I was missing my family and I was looking forward to seeing them again.

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But there was still time to see a few things before I left.

Curtis left for work and I thanked him profusely for having me over.

After breakfast Lucille and I headed for our daily walk.

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Tonic is looking more like toxic now

We crossed the river and walked along the path. A lot of people fish along there and you really have to watch your step as there are no washrooms in the area.

I was looking for rusty stuff to take photos of and luckily, there is a lot of that kind of stuff to be found in Beijing.

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Flowers

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Flower

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As usual, there were plenty of sights to be seen along our way.

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A lot of massage places claim to have a blind masseurs 

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New business going in

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Plenty of rust

Along the way we passed by the American Embassy and there was a protest going on. We decided it was not a good idea to accept any of the pamphlets they were handing out.

We walked through the Kempinski Hotel and through the garden out back on our way to the Liangma Flower Market.

It was a big market full of flowers. I would of loved to bring some home for Lynda but that wasn’t an option.

We continued to the  Solana Mall.

It was a much nicer day for our visit than my first time there.

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Children’s art

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All the walking made us hungry so we walked down the road to the German Bakery for a very early lunch.

The tomato soup and bread was just as good as the first time and I ordered a pretzel to ease my disappointment with yesterdays pretzel. I was right to order it as it was delicious. I’ve never had a buttered pretzel before but it’s my new way to have them now.

We could either take the subway home or walk back as we had time before I had to go to the airport. Walking was my decision as we had lots of time.

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We found something I have missed here for a while now – a drive in.

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I found another example of rusty along the way.

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Rust and a couple of  buses

Traffic wasn’t heavy when we approached one of the ring roads but watching it was fun.

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We made it back to the apartment and I started packing up to go to the airport.

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My well used transit pass

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Casper didn’t care I was leaving

We headed downstairs to head over to the subway and there was a cab out front of the building. He was available so we took it instead. I rode in cabs 3 time while in Beijing and each time it was just like catching a cab anywhere else. Lucille and Curtis told me how hard it was to get a cab in Beijing but I never saw that at all.

Soon we were at the airport. I said goodbye to Lucille and went to catch my train to the terminal.

We had done 16,000 steps in our 1/2 day and Lucille was going to take the train part way home and walk the rest.

I was at the back of the plane but at least I had an actual window this time.

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My view from the back of the bus

Soon we were taxiing out from the gate.

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And then it was our turn to take off.

Beijing boot camp was over. We had done 269,861 steps in my time there or  a daily average of 19,276. Its a good thing I like to walk or that would of been rough.

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A flight taking off on a parallel runway as my last view of Beijing

My last view of Beijing was towards the Olympic Park area and soon we were heading north east.

The last photo I took on my trip was the huge dam on the Miyun Reservoir.

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Being at the back of the plane meant the contrail from the engine streamed right past my window and blocked some of my view.

I watched the most incredible sunset but because it was partially blocked I just enjoyed it. Later I opened my blind and couldn’t believe how bright the moon was up above the clouds. It was just a partial moon but it was like a spotlight shining in my eyes.

I watched movies, read my book and tried to sleep. I slept for about 2 hours like my flight over but the time I slept meant I totally missed seeing the sunrise.

I was pretty tired when I got to Vancouver but having some lunch helped a bit.

I was at the back of the plane to Calgary and I looked out the window most of the way. It was pretty windy in Calgary so we did a rough crab landing but it wasn’t as rough as my flight at the start of my holiday.

I had a 5 hour layover in Calgary and staying awake was becoming challenging. I paced a lot to keep awake.

The flight to Red Deer was short and sweet. Lynda and Adam were there to meet me.

I had survived my grand holiday. I had such a good time but it was nice to be home.

I am forever grateful to Curtis and Lucille for bringing me over to visit and for putting up with me for 2 weeks. I could never have afforded to go otherwise and while I never imagined I’d spend any time in Beijing, let alone my birthday, I enjoyed it immensely.

Some things about China were hard to get used to, like the lack of sugar in so many things. We had chocolate cake on my birthday but it wasn’t like any chocolate I’d ever had before. It wasn’t as hard to get used to all the people as I thought it might be.

My new motto is “It’s not Beijing busy” next time I’m shopping or in a line up.

I saw so many wonderful places and yet I feel like I barely scratched the surface of what Beijing offers. I think you could visit a park a day for a whole year and not see them all.

While I was in awe of the Great Wall and so many places really, I think the Summer Palace was my favorite place to visit. If I ever make it back to Beijing, that will be the place I go visit again for sure.

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