1st day out in Beijing

We had quite a day and its not over yet. I'm jet lagged and woke up at 4 am. we walked around from 9 am to 3 pm with 3 goals:

1. just go out in the city and get lost
2. enjoy getting lost and the initial fun and stupor of discovering a new city.
3. go to the drum tower.

we suceeded on all fronts. We took a million pictures but will spare you the bore of looking at them all.

when we ordered lunch it was interesting. I haven't been learning characters, only conversational speaking so we were in trouble here. it turned out fine, it cost us 70 cents each for a yum-tastic bowl of noodles.

i am more ok with pointing to stuff and asking for it, i just don't know the words for all the food and the chinese characters for them yet

it seems like there is construction everywhere. we walked in mud for a lot of the day.

the drum tower

bell from the bell tower

bob's face after we found out there is a bell tower in addition to the drum tower across the way

the police lights/sirens here are pretty diesel

This is a panorama shot of the bell tower, cool rooftops, CLICK TO ENLARGE

the hutongs (alleyways) were cool. super ghetto shanty's that house lots of families. its amazing that these things are sprinkled in with the skyscrapers everywhere. again such a huge contrast of modern and old. on the bus ride in we saw a guy with a horse and platform cart on the Olympic highway!

i thought this bus was cool, looks like it runs on electric through the cables above. also the driving here is way crazier than new york. you basically go when you can or else you will be eaten alive. the same strategy must be taken with walking and crossing the street. you cannot be sleepy here or you will die.

there were some killer stairs to climb at the bell tower and drum tower.

so basically we had sensory overload today. now we are like little babies and must take a nap