July 19, 2008 - This was our first weekend alone here in Beijing. What to do. I decided that we should try to venture out and see if we could find our way to Tiananmen Square. It takes 2 subway lines to get there. The line 13 station is a 3 minute walk for our apartment and runs to connect with the line 2 which is also called the circle line. So off we went not really sure if we were going to make it or not. We transfered to line 2 simple enough and got off the Qianmen stop this put us at the far end of Tiananmen Square near the old city gates and the back side of Mao's tomb.
Olivia rode comfortably on my back on a kelty kids carrier. This has proven to be indispensible as bringing a stroller anywhere is challenging. Lots of stairs and not too much handicap accessibility. Although alot of effort is being made to improve this with the paralympics being hosted in Beijing after the regular Olympics.
I had been here back in January when I first visited China. What a difference the weather made. We did arrive early (I think around 9:30 AM) so as to beat the mid day heat and sun. There was lots of people around. Many people were lined up to view Mao as his tomb is only open to visitors on Saturdays and Wenesdays. We did not choose to go in at this time but we plan to do so in the future. This is picture of Sandy by the Old city gate. Being back in Tiananmen Square in the summer was nice. There were lot and lots of people around and I noticed that we were getting alot of attention or I should say that Olivia was getting alot of attention from the Chinese. They all love her and think that she is beautiful. Those who can speak English tell us all the time. I guy was following us around taking our picture. We made a stop at the front side of Mao's tomb and i took Olivia down off my back to rest for a moment and before you know it we were swamped by Chinese people wanting to take their picture with Olivia, Sandy and me.
This was the start of a whole new experience. Now I know what it must feel like to be a star being paparazied. Once we allowed 1 person I swear to you there must have been 20 people who wanted a picture with us.
It was becomming a scene and a police officer was giving us the stink eye so I put Olivia back on my back and off we went. This is Sandy in front of the People's Congress building. It's the equivilent of our Capitol building in the USA.
We made our way up to the front end of the square to the national flag so we could get our picture taken with the most famous Chinese man. Mao himself.
While we were up in the front of the square we were once again ganged up on by many tourists wanting to take a picture of the baby. This was getting a little annoying at this point but we grinned and beared it.
I decided why not turn the camera on to them so we asked the group to get together for us so we could get their picture. They were more than happy to do so and as you can see they continued to take pictures of us.
So off we went as it was getting a little hot and we were getting hungry for lunch so we dicided to head back to the subway. Along the way Sandy met an old friend.
We took a shot of the Olympic count down clock. 20 days to go!
We made it back to where we started and took a few more pictures.
We managed to back track our way on the subway and made it safely back to our place in WuDaokou. a Good start to many more adventures!