Early to Rise
|I’m not sure how I felt about these fire exit masks.
Would they really work in case of fire?
Sara got out of bed at 5 am. I didn’t want to get up quite so early but I’m glad I did. It gave me plenty
of time to pack, do my hair, and get downstairs for my last breakfast at the Trader’s Hotel. Later today we’ll leave for Shanghai and I’m glad of the change.
Meanwhile, I’m starting to get to know some of the others in the group. Adrianna is a chef and her boyfriend Daniel, a doctor, make a cute couple and get along well. Then there is Sean and his friend from Puerto Rico, Christian. They seem a strange pair of friends, but then some people might think that of Rebecca and I due to our twenty year age difference.
What gets me is how much Jim (our guide) talks. Rarely is there a quiet moment on the bus and I think that’s starting to get to me. I’m happy with quiet time once and awhile.
Temple of Heaven
|The Temple in the distance|
Anyway, this morning’s first stop was the Temple of Heaven. There are a series of temples here and then the main, round building which is considered to be the center of earth and heaven.
FYI: You’ll see wires on the tops of the buildings at all of the historic sites because most of the buildings, especially the roofs, are made of wood. The wires are meant to conduct lightning strikes and save these ancient buildings from fire.
The locals have a good gimmick to sell items.
|Christian playing with the Jianzi|
We arrived early and many of them seemed to be waiting. When we started to file in they suddenly began playing a game like hacky sack but with a bag with feathers (Jianzi). They encouraged some in our group to join them. Before we moved on most everyone had bought a bag to kick around.
Next, it was time for the pearl shop. This time I was completely disinterested. I’m not a fan of pearls. My friends really liked it though, so if you like pearls, it’s a good stop.
They did show everyone how they find pearls and there were many beautiful settings.
|Christian, Patrizio, Sean, and dude (because I
can’t remember his name) hanging out
Meanwhile, me and most of the guys hung around and waited for the boring lull to be over.
I’m starting to feel like this trip is very commercial, but for a tourist, it’s a good trip to get all the things you might want to take home with you.
Olympic Bird’s Nest
|Adorable Chinese girl for a photo op|
Our last stop before the airport was the Olympic area. I would have liked to be here at night when the buildings show off their lights and look their best, but we were there during the day. You can’t go in the buildings, but there are some statues of the Chinese Olympic Icons and other structures to see.
|One of the things to see around the
So today wasn’t that exciting, but I’m hopeful that Shanghai will be more interesting. Day one in Shanghai we’ll see the Bund, the Pearl Tower, and we’ve paid for the optional addition of dinner and an acrobat show.
Additional days in China will be added soon!
If you’d like to see more of my travel posts, check out the trip to Costa Rica:
Day 1 in San Jose, Costa Rica
Hello. I’m Sonja Dewing. I am a Writing Professional: Technical, business, and instructional writing, as well as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers.
I’m a dedicated fitness fiend, outdoor enthusiast, and adventure seeker. I’m also a fiction author and I blog about my travel, backpacking, and other adventures.