Friday, 19 July 2013

quick trip to beijing. . .

we took a quick trip to beijing this week!
we left early tuesday morning and got back late thursday night.
the train ride was pretty nice-we had tons of leg room, freedom to walk
around & we got to see a lot of china as we made the journey up to beijing.
the train station was huge and super crowded!
something i'm still getting used to is just how many people there are here!

when we arrived in beijing we took a taxi to our hotel.
it was in a great location within walking distance of the major tourist attractions.
logan had two meetings to go to right when we got there, so i explored the
 area around our hotel and found the most insane street food i've ever seen in my life!
they had everything strange and disgusting that you would literally NEVER
think about eating!
if you could put it on a stick-it was there.
pretty much everything was raw & if you decided you wanted something
they threw it on a big skillet and cooked it up right in front of you.
i could not believe my eyes as i walked up and down the street just 
staring at all of the crazy food there! 
i knew i had to take logan there the next day because he is far more
adventurous than me when it comes to trying new foods.
i ended up getting some tasty noodles and veggie pot stickers & walked back to the hotel.

we headed out early wednesday morning for the longest day of our lives!
we planned to see the great wall, tiananmen square & the forbidden city all in one day.
we took a train ride up to the great wall from a train station fairly close to our hotel.
you can travel to several different locations of the wall, &
we chose a section called badaling because it seemed like the easiest one to get to.
there is a special train called the S2 that takes you right to the wall.
we bought our tickets and were waiting in this giant line till they opened the doors
leading out to the train platform.
we noticed while standing in line that the tickets didn't have seat assignments.
we figured the train was so huge everyone could easily find a seat wherever they wanted & we didn't
think much about it till they opened the doors for people to walk onto the platform to board the train.
i kid you not i have never laughed so hard in my entire life.
just imagine black friday combined with godzilla.
the second the doors opened people starting pushing, shoving and sprinting to the train
like their lives depended on it.
we were basically at the end of the line so we were pretty shocked to see how aggressive
people were getting.
as we shuffled closer to the doors we decided that if people were acting this crazy we had
better put our game faces on too.
the second we exited the doors onto the platform we starting sprinting.
logan started singing the theme music in home alone when the entire family is
trying frantically to catch their plane in the airport.
i felt like we had just started a marathon.
people were everywhere!
pushing, shoving, racing, yelling-all so they could get good spots on the train.
we decided to sprint to the farthest train carriage in hopes that not as many people 
would be trying to sit in it.
we were wrong.
people were filing down the aisle of the train, throwing their bags in seats
from half way down the aisle.
a lady right in front of us ducked into the last 2 seats we saw together right as i
flung my camera bag into one of the seats.
our eyes met.
her face was like a brick wall-there was no way she was letting me take those seats.
we backtracked a little and ended up finding two seats near each other.
it was the most hilarious memory & we still laugh when we think about it:)

the great wall was incredible-it is by far the coolest thing i've seen here in china!
the badaling section of the wall is easy to get to therefore it's also one
of the busiest sections of the wall.
i couldn't believe how many people were there!
some sections were also really steep which i wasn't expecting.

something funny we've encountered while in china is people who
want to take their picture with us.
i think people in china love seeing foreigners-so literally every 5 minutes we
would get stopped and people would pull us next to them for a pic.
teenage girls were the funniest-they would ask if they could
take our picture in broken english and then when we
would say yes they would squeal with delight & start talking 1,000 miles
an hour in chinese to their friend taking the picture. 
we made another special friend on our journey to the great wall:
a little girl who was probably 6 or 7 was sitting in front of me on the train & would
turn around like every 5 minutes to look at me.
when i would smile she would laugh & turn away.
when we got off the train her mom asked if i would take a picture
with her & she was so stinking cute i had logan take one of us too!
asian kids are adorable-i want to take one home in my suitcase:)

after we spent a couple hours on the wall, we hopped back on the train & went back
to finish our whirlwind sight-seeing extravaganza.
we went to the forbidden city where a guy our age who spoke very good english
starting chatting us up.
he told us he was an art student & showed us some of his calligraphy.
he showed us around the emperor's palace & painted the chinese
character for love on some rice paper & gave it to us.

after walking around the forbidden city & tiananment square-we were beat! 
we walked back to the place i found with all the crazy food & we tried to find
something to eat.
i had told logan all the crazy things that were there and he was excited to try something weird.
pretty much the only things i was willing to eat were noodles, pot stickers & fruit, but logan
had his heart set on something else:
squid, shark & lamb.
i've had lamb before so that wasn't freaking me out-but squid & shark?!
i'm proud to report that with very little coaxing from logan, i tried a bite of shark.
there was no way i was trying the squid, but the shark didn't taste like
anything weird because they covered it with so many spices it just tasted like spicy chicken!

we walked around the area near the street food carts for a while before our eyes
were so heavy we had to turn in for the night!
the area reminded me a lot of times square-it had big buildings with bright
lights & tons of shopping.
we slept like babies that night & our feet were killing us, but we both agreed
it was the best/most fun day we'd had in china thus far!

the next day we slept in a little later than we should have but we were exhausted!
we checked out of our hotel & finally got out the door around 11:00.
we needed to get tickets for the train back to shanghai so we went to the train station to buy them.
on the way logan spotted this dwayne wade statue & really wanted me to take
a picture of it.
apparently a bunch of NBA players are in china right now doing some promotions & logan
is convinced we are going to run into one of them:)

we bought our tickets & still had time to visit one last thing before we headed back to shanghai.
we jumped in a taxi & headed over to the temple of heaven.
on every street corner there are little shops and vendors selling cold drinks & popsicles.
we had been noticing this one flavor that looked like peas & whenever we saw it
we would dare each other to try the "pea-sicle".
logan was still feeling adventurous so he bought one on our way into the temple.
he liked it & said it tasted like pistachos.
i tried it & thought it tasted literally like mushy peas in popsicle form-not a fan.

the temple of heaven was beautiful!
the colors were so vibrant & i loved walking around the grounds.
we spent about 2 hours there before it was time to head back to the train station.
on the ride home we looked through all the pics we had taken
on our short trip there & couldn't believe everything we saw in such a short period of time!

only about 10 days left here in china!
we've had so much fun here & we will definitely be sad to leave!


  1. I cannot get over how many people there are in that first photo, crazy! And OMG, those are literally starfish and squid on a stick!! No way!
    I was wondering how people get to the Great Wall. I would be afraid for my life seeing all those people fight over the train seats. Eric would appreciate that Logan was singing to Home Alone, haha.
    These pictures are beautiful! The Great Wall looks incredible! I don't think I've ever seen Logan with facial hair before! And you just had to pull out the peace signs! Love it!
    How hot has it been there? I can't believe you ate shark!!

  2. Are those spiders/tarantulas on a stick?!??

    I'm super jealous you went to the Great Wall - that's so cool.

  3. I admire you both so much for the way you just jump in there and enjoy!!! I am loving looking at your pictures. While at Gramp's house I was looking over a couple of his big books on China and reading about it, so I was there with you in spirit! Enjoy your last 10 days!!! love you both.

  4. Such great photos. I have wanted to go to China for quite a while now. My mom got to go and brought home the coolest photos. The great wall is incredible, right?