Thursday, November 11, 2010

China at Last

Let's see, where were we? Landing in Beijing I think. After a long flight and the many wonders it held, we finally set foot in China. The airport was mammoth! We're talking huge. Think of your four or five favorite pro stadiums. They would probably all fit under the roof of the airport.

We wearily made our way through lines and checkpoints, passports at the ready. At one point we trudged through an area set up to take our temperature as we entered to screen for flu. Of course by this time we were hot and sweaty. But they didn't stop us. Then we made a quick stop to change some US dollars into Chinese Yuan and headed for the exit.

After what seemed like days, but was probably just an hour or so, we wandered out into the general public area to be greeted by our guide, Jimmy. He escorted us to the garage and a sort of waiting van. Dad brought a walker with a seat in case his knees or hip acted up. Jimmy was rested and walked very quickly while we tromped tiredly behind.

The van ride into town was surreal. All of the scenery looked familiar. Busy roadways, people not moving for ambulances,

trees, houses and buildings like any city. But all of the signs were in Chinese,

and the flags were Chinese,

even the toll booths had a decidedly Chinese flare.

Somebody was even flying a kite off a building in Beijing. You don't see that much in the States.

Being sleepy really made the whole thing pretty dreamlike. We finally reached our hotel and after checking in headed to our rooms to get cleaned up a bit.

Refreshed enough for food, we headed to the hotel restraunt for dinner. We were tired and worn, and I'm not even sure what we had. Except I think it was expensive and tasted pretty good.

In a daze from being awake for 40 hours and trying to wrap my head around the time changes, we headed for bed. We were excited to be in China, and excited to have an entire day off before our tour officially began!

The view from our hotel room.

More Later

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