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Beijing reunion

June 7, 2012

Our last stop on our epic journey was Beijing, because when you’re in China, how can you not go to the Great Wall?

We left Xi’an in the morning.IMG_4531

(DT is still a stalker.)

Of course there was traffic on our way into Beijing from the airport.IMG_4534

What a typical photo.  DT being silly, I’m eating trail mix, and Sarah’s the only normal one reading a magazine.

A few days before we went to Beijing, I had reconnected with a Colby track buddy of mine, Kristin, through LinkedIn.  Lo and behold, she lives in Beijing!  We met up with her at our hotel and walked to Tiananmen Square.IMG_4535


We walked through a pretty hidden park right by the Forbidden City (note that we were forbidden from going inside the City, since DT and Sarah had already been and gave less than stellar reviews, so I was fine with that).CIMG1074

And then made our way to Li Qun for Peking duck!CIMG1076

This place is famous (and tiny) so we had to wait outside for a while, even with our reservation.  Note how the wall says “Merry Christmas.”IMG_4547

Kristin helped us with the menu before she had to head off to her own dinner plans.  Thank you so much for all your help!  It was great to see her again.


Ducks roasting in an open fire.IMG_4559




Yeah, we ate it all.  So good.

The walk back to the hotel was long, due to some disagreements over the directions.IMG_4563

I spilled duck oil on my pants.

Then it was Great Wall day!

We took a chairlift up to the wall…





There were some GIANT steps (and also some tiny steps).  Apparently the different steps were meant to break up the rhythm of an approaching army – cool!  It definitely broke our rhythm.


We walked pretty far, and some parts were very steep!



We tried so hard to get a good jumping picture.IMG_4606

Then we tobogganed down from the Wall!  So much fun.

We had a delicious lunch on the way back to the city.  We got too much food, but it was still so cheap!CIMG1111


Those apple things in the back were crazy.  They were covered in hot caramelized sugar, and you had to separate them and dunk them in water really quickly so they wouldn’t all stick together in a giant clump.

Then we walked 3 miles to the Silk Market (another fake market).  Our legs were pretty tired by this point.  Eventually we found someone who was willing to drive us to Houhai, a hutong area surrounding a lake that has lots of bars, shops, and restaurants.  We relaxed at a café for a while, then went to No Name, which serves southern Chinese food.  We sat on the rooftop terrace and had a last great meal.CIMG1113

One of the best moments of the trip was taking a pedicab back to our hotel that night.  They are really only meant for two people (who are squished as it is), so I had to sit on Sarah and DT’s laps.  You’ll have to ask Sarah for pictures of that, but I was laughing so hard the whole time.  There were also some awesome quotes that I’m probably not allowed to repeat on the blog.

And then we were done.  The next morning we flew from Beijing to San Francisco and back to Eugene.  We landed in Eugene before we took off in Beijing!  Crazy international date line.

It was an amazing trip.  We accomplished what we set out to do, saw some great sites, ate good food, met so many nice people, and avoided any major mishaps.  I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go!

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