Thursday, October 30, 2014

A weekend in Beijing

Hello again!

I will just pretend as if I have been updating my blog regularly over the last month and roll in to the post straight away.

During the second half of the Golden Week mentioned in my previous post, Linn and I, accompanied by her Swedish friend Charlotte, took the train from Jinan to Beijing to spend a few days in the Capital city of China.

We arrived in Beijing early afternoon and checked in to our hotel. There really was not a lot we felt we could do this first day, so we did some research on what happenings there were about. Linn found out about a, as far as I am aware, very traditional-styled play called The Golden Mask Dynasty to which she booked tickets later that evening by contacting a man going by the name of Dragon.

Before it was time to head to the play we took a stroll looking for a place serving some fine food. What we found was at the very least convenient, and a place which I believe I have mentioned before. Also, Linn is a big fan. I am sure you can guess where we ended up.

With full stomachs we took a taxi to the theatre and met up with Dragon, who also mentioned a tour of the Great Wall that we immediately displayed interest in. Well inside the theatre it became apparent that phones and cameras were not welcome so the following pictures are taken with the approval of:

It is obviously very difficult to give you an idea of what we witnessed, but in one word, it was very Chinese. I believe the pictures should provide some insight though.

Chinese costumes. I wonder if Linn would ever suspect one of these in her christmas gift...

The two main characters of the play.

Bongos and a tree of great significance, I am sure.

The whole theatre got pretty excited when the water started pouring down.

The actual show was pretty cool, and it felt like something that I am glad to have seen during my stay in China. Some decent acrobatics and great scenography. This thorough review, courtesy of renowned theatre critic Dennis Nilsson. You are welcome.


The next day we followed up with some sightseeing. We took a taxi to go to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. But first we took detour to an adjacent park where we got a good view over what was to come.

Well, okay then. We actually walked up to the gates that you see in the picture below. It however appeared to be the entrance to a museum, so we started walking in the opposite direction. It was some time later that we found out that the museum is in fact inside the forbidden city, and this is not the most iconic view of the Forbidden City.

Overlooking the Forbidden City

After climbing up a couple of stairs to reach the top of the hill and taking this photo we wanted to find somewhere to eat. During the lunch it became clear that the issues that Linn have been having was only getting worse, so Linn and I left Charlotte to continue the sightseeing, and sought a hospital.


Later that evening, after getting Linn some medicine, we joined up with Charlotte to try and find ourselves a good restaurant serving the famous Peking duck. Two of our teachers have been speaking very highly of this duck that we just had to try it for ourselves. 

Nearby our hotel there was a very fancy restaurant with great reviews. Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant. It does not take a genius to realize what specialty dish they might serve.

40 minutes later we were sat down by a table and began to search the huge menu. I realize this might be interpreted as a joke, but I mean it. The menu was enormous. We went through it, pointing out a bunch of different dishes that appeared super yummy. We came there to try the duck though, so it was all in vain, almost. I ordered some extra meat to the table.

Somewhere behind the menu you can find Charlotte.

The chef cooking our Peking duck

Linn soldiered on despite her troubles with eating.

The plate of  vegetables was largely unnecessary.

It sure looks fancy.

The duck was really good. I believe they presented us with a bunch of different things, all cooked with different parts of the duck. The drink that you see in one of the above photos we believed was caramelized and seasoned through some duck part, I don't really know. We also had a soup sent in that tasted of duck. 

It was kind of neat, to have a whole course attributed to the duck, although it was really just the actual main course duck that was elevated to a special kind of level. At the end we were also presented with some mini apples. A fancy, fun sort of snack I suppose.


Our last day in Beijing and we were heading for the Great Wall, Mutianyu. 

We joined the tour that Dragon advertised and entered a buss together with 40 or so other tourists that drove us about an hour north of Beijing. Then we traversed the full length of the wall pretty much. I really don't think there is much to say about the wall. The whole thing is quite impressive and if given the opportunity definitely worth the trip.

Pictures doesn't to the place much justice, but I am sure my family will enjoy seeing them anyway. 


Would you look at that, a bi-weekly blog! 

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