Monday, I took the day off of work to go sightseeing with Uncle Manny. We had a blast together, using only public transportation and google maps to get around. Basically, the price for my guided city tour was allowing me to pick his brain about entering and thriving in academic medicine, applying to residency, etc, and he did not disappoint ;)
We experienced the city in hurricane fashion, starting with Tiananmen Gate.
The positive thing about sightseeing in Beijing in the winter is that everything is nearly empty. You can even take pictures in the Forbidden City without capturing hordes of people, as you can see.The negative thing about sightseeing in Beijing in the winter is that it's 20 degrees outside (wind chill: 4 degrees). TMI alert: my pee steamed when I used the unheated public restrooms.
So, after we went up to the hutong area (historic Beijing), we thawed out at lunch and then continued to the Drum and Bell Towers.
Here's the view of the historic buildings nearby.
We then went to the Temple of Heaven, and I forgot to write the bus transfer in the directions, so we walked about 1.5 km extra (party foul). I think the circular buildings are prettier than the Forbidden City.
Once again, there were so few people there that I could take some nice pictures:
And we left the Temple of Heaven to meet up with Alison for dinner (guess where?), we passed by a group of Chinese people singing folk songs: It was a perfect end to our tour.
The following day, we both went to work while Uncle Manny hiked the Great Wall like we did in August. They give you a water bottle, and he said his froze. Can you imagine?
He left on Wednesday, and the apartment is quiet without him. But his legacy lives on as somewhere in our whirlwind adventures, I hurt my foot and have had trouble walking the last few days. Luckily Sarah had a crutch, which has been my saving grace. And I get to work from home tomorrow (missing the sacred weekly conference) to "rest" before the big conference at the 5-star hotspring hotel this weekend. Rough life, right?