Jan 032010
 

It was clear, sunny, and brutal with the wind chill. The snow yesterday meant blocked roads today, and no trip to the wall. The snowfall yesterday was the most Beijing had seen in 60 years.

After a breakfast of champions – buozi (steamed buns with pork) – we headed over to the square and forbidden city. The square was almost empty – the howling wind made sure of that.

The forbidden city was also cold, but the high walls and buildings gave us some breaks from the wind. The same walls also funneled and concentrated the wind through hallways and doors leading into other areas – keeping on your feet and moving forward were a challenge at times. It was worth the chill, the area was gorgeous in the snow and sun.

The views from Jing Shan and Jade Island were great, it was clear today and much of the city could be seen. After a tea house visit – I’m drinking copious amounts of the lovely stuff – we walked the lakes. Bei Hai, Qian Hai, and Hou Hai. It was great to see skaters and pilots of strange ice machines (chair-sleds with ice picks, bicycle sleds) enjoying the frozen lakes. I had thought I might join them, but when we got there I had no interest in taking off my shoes to swap into skates. The wind chill made me think I would end up missing some toes.

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