Without much adventure, we arrived as planned in Beijing on Aug.28. We haven’t been anywhere yet, so you’ll have to laugh at a picture of the kids in transit (how do they bend that way?).
I was really proud of the girls, because they kept good spirits through a 10.5 hour flight from Vancouver, after a short-haul flight from Calgary. We were all tired when we got to Beijing, but we collected our bags and sailed through customs without a hitch. Despite its size, the airport was very efficient. We had to take a train from the immigration area to baggage collection, to give you an idea of how big it is!
Our guide, Peter Zhao, met us in the arrivals area and took us to our apartment. The sky was blue and clear, and we were happy to be out of the forest fire smoke!
Beijing is hosting a military parade on Sept.3 to honour the “War of Anti-Japanese Aggression” (WWII to the rest of us). To lessen the pollution for the parade, factories in the six provinces around Beijing have been told to reduce their emissions by 30%.
Car emissions are also being cut. Drivers with license plates ending in even numbers can only drive on certain days while odd numbers drive on opposite days. Apparently this directive is a frequent enough occurrence that our guide has two vehicles with license plates ending in odd and even numbers so that he can provide service no matter what day it is!
We plan on visiting Tiananmen Square, Behei Park, and the Temple of Heaven today. Pictures to follow!