Although Beijing allowed a revisit to gratitude, I never take any of this for granted. More often than not, the places I travel to defy my ability to describe them yet they have offered me such a rich, soul-felt experience by providing far more sustenance than food (or gin) could ever offer.
I never want to lose the wonder and curiosity I find in travelling. Arriving somewhere new without expectation or being in the very place I saw so many many years ago as a child flipping through a National Geographic magazine.
An eternal optimist, I know 2020 will be no different and I fully intend to continue to lift my camera lens, my eyes and my heart to every single moment this quite magical world has to offer……
Beijing Part II
There is a richness to this city in both the old and the new.
We saw the most stunning of ancient architecture, history, culture and markets and equally witnessed a progressive megacity boasting the world’s biggest airport which runs like a well oiled machine.
Although the heat was at times exhausting, walks through the city were a continual reward.
I took hundreds and hundreds of photos but can only use so many yet the memories of standing in long slow lines, sardined alongside locals and tourists to view the Forbidden City and to set foot upon the hallowed slabs of concrete which pave Tieanamen Square, the walks around the bygone era’d Hutong districts with its decaying beauty and those frantic, busy and noisy markets remain.
Favorites while in Beijing
Stay: A blissful refuge to lay your head is the luxurious NUO Hotel. Unsurpassed in service and elegance together with its location in the arts district, this beautiful hotel surpasses 5 star excellence.
Culinary delight of the journey: It would be so easy to say everything but perhaps one of my favorites was Jian Bing. A cheap little crepe which cost under $1USD and purchased at unassuming hole-in-the-walls. One of China’s most popular early morning dishes and straight off a hot grill filled with egg, fresh coriander and spring onion, hoisin sauce and mustard pickles this little snack is crunchy yet soft and fluffy and very, very delish. Sometimes, it really is just the simple things in life…….
Trip highlight: Holy cats! So very difficult to pinpoint one particular moment as they were all equally memorable but a highlight for me was the quiet book section at the Panjiayuan flea market.
The Forbidden City, the Great Wall, train travel with the locals – this is a great way to get around as it is very clean, safe and cheap – crisp crab-apples coated in liquid sugar and skulking around old market places. Beijing has left an indelible mark upon my internal travel mapped heart…….x