We left the hotel at 9 after a long and good sleep. So far I don’t feel any jetlag. Seems that the beforehand adaptation worked very well (in the last three weeks I went to bed about 15 minutes earlier every day until I got up at 4:30 to 5:00).
First stop today was a breakfast place just around the corner. Steamed dumplings and soft tofu soup/porridge (this one was salty).
An interesting start for the day. Especially the dumplings were really good.
Then we took the subway into the center. Luckily the rush hour was over but still very crowded. We got off at the Tianamen Plaza and walked to the Forbidden City. They “only” alow 80,000 people per day so Meng pre-booked the tickets.
The Forbidden City deserved the name. It is not just a castle complex, it a vast area with a lot of different buildings, which all served a special purpose.
There were exhibitions in some of them. In this one, they presented a huge clock collection and we were lucky that we arrived just in time for a demonstration:
We underestimated the size of the area so that we couldn’t see all of it before we moved on. We had a green bean ice cream on the way. Simple but good and refreshing in the hot weather.
When we got out, we got into a bike-rickshaw and took an interesting 30-minute tour through the old town.
One of those places you would never get without a guide. The driver explained a lot on the way as well.
Off the rickshaw, we had an afternoon snack: donkey meat with some kind of jelly (reminded me of aspic) in a bun. It was special but pretty good. We walked a bit further and entered a place for local food and got this:
Sweet and savory: the plate on the left (it is worth to zoom in) is cow stomach, boiled and eaten with sesame sauce. Not my favorite.. Then vegetables, fried in a dough and sweet pastries. We moved on and had a nice walk in the lively lake area with a marked and bars.
Here we had a beer and had time to
watch the busy streets from the second floor. Then we took the subway back and picked up some snacks on the walk back:
From the left, clockwise: chicken feet, small octopus, duck tongues and frog legs. Pretty good, the tongues were very spicy though. Frog really tastes like chicken. We also got a local brewed IPA, which was very mild but still very good.
This was a very interesting day, especially food-wise. Time to sleep, tomorrow we will take a tour to the Great Wall.