Days Three and Four: Beijing
We were stunned to wake up to a winter wonderland and a biting cold day; clearly this was not going to be the day to see the Great Wall! We took our time going outside, and spent our time instead trying to organize our trip to Xian, where the Terra Cotta Warriors are to be found. Originally, we thought that we would take the overnight train, but since it is a 14 hour trip, we decided that it would be a better idea to fly. This took a few hours, mostly because of the back and forth with Expedia trying to get the dates right. Another thing we learned is that if you keep your itinerary on the IPad calendar, unless you go in and change every entry, it stays on Vancouver time, which puts everything ahead a day! This led to lots of confusion on our part, but once we figured it out, we were okay.
We set off to do more shopping, exploring the Old Pearl Market as well as the New Pearl Market, which is right next door. The Old Pearl Market is like a flea market with hawkers set up, calling to you as you go by, trying to convince you to buy. The New Pearl Market is in sharp contrast, like a high end department store, with several floors, all beautifully decorated with huge pieces of jade statues and pottery. Unfortunately, there are signs everywhere saying no photography allowed.
We went home and took a nap, because the jet lag still had a hold on us. We got a little more adventurous for supper, and set off across the street to a Chinese restaurant. We sat in a booth next to three women from Australia, wouldn’t you know it, they were all elementary school principals! One of them is planning to come to Canada, and would like to visit some inner city schools as part of a research project that she is working on, so I will see if I can be of assistance to her with setting that up.
After supper, we went next door to the health spa for a 90 minute whole body massage. They showed us into a room set up for two. The serene atmosphere was delightful, with the tables covered in a red cloth with a ba,boo tray complete with a giant lotus flower in the middle….so beautiful! I can tell you, those Chinese women have strong hands, never have I had such an amazing massage, and great value for the price, only $50 for the entire 90 minutes!