Saturday, August 20, 2011

day 7

Day 7. One third of our way home.

We had originally scheduled to tour a historic village in China on Monday. But after yesterday's experience with Hope in the van (the torturous ride for all involved) we opted to skip the village. It was going to be a two and a half hour drive one way. And although at the time we booked it we thought it would be a good way to fill up a day with something different we knew our sanity was more important than a few good photos of a village.

Here's what we ended up doing today:

We rescheduled to have our guide/driver come today instead of Monday and went to the Beijing Zoo and a Taoist Temple. I'm not a fan of zoos in general. It wasn't really on my top 500 things to see in China. But it was shaded. And beautiful. And different than the streets surrounding our hotel. And Hope absolutely loved it. It was the first thing that we've done in 7 days that was actually age appropriate for her. She was probably thinking, "YES! At last. Something for a kid to do!" Poor thing, we've been dragging her around to shops, restaurants, and government offices for almost a week. She literally squealed with joy at the first site of an animal. And then she repeated the squeals for almost two hours. She was more entertaining to watch than the animals. Well, for me that isn't saying much because I could care less about staring at animals. But still. She was that funny. And loud. But it wasn't loud in a restaurant and it wasn't loud in a hotel room so we let her be loud. And she loved every second of it.

We had lunch and then went to a Taoist Temple. Again, zoos, Taoist temples...not exactly on my top 500 list of things to see here but our guide suggested it would be a good place to get away from the crowds and we could use the stroller and have some shade. There were definitely no crowds. Hope sat in her stroller the whole time because she was so tired from the zoo. It was actually quite pretty. And shaded. {Shade, my happy place in China.} Our guide gave us a brief overview of the Taoist religion as we watched people burn incense and bow to the golden Buddha statues. The guide also told us that many Chinese people have no "religion" at all but will still come to temples such as these when they have problems or need answers. There were Taoist monks (I think that's what they're called?) living in the facility which was basically a collection of courtyards each filled with rooms devoted to different gods. We felt odd being there. We felt burdened for the people that were bowing to golden images that were not alive and could not offer them what they were seeking.

We got back to the hotel about 3pm and tried to get Hope to sleep. She won. No nap. We won at bed time though because she was asleep by 7:30 as opposed to her normal 9:00. Ahh, not sure who needed bedtime to come quicker. Her. Or us. Who am I kidding? It. Was. Us.

Click here to see photos from today

1 comment:

  1. I already posted on your Shutterfly, but the zoo was a huge hit with us-not just with our four year old son, but also with our 17 year old daughter, our travel mate, her mother, and her almost 2 year old daughter. Finally a place for kids and a place that wasn't a long drive off, no people rushing up to sell us things, and we could actually sit and enjoy ourselves here and there.

    If you want to keep her entertained, try the Beijing Aquarium and the Shijingshan Amusement Park (think Disney for China at a super cheap price). They should keep you sane.