Day Three- Beijing to Delhi
We boarded our shuttle this morning sharing stories of our overnight visits from the local Police and our guide let us know it was most likely because we were there on the 72 hour free visas.. it's from this point in my life I encourage all my clients, just get the visa in the first place! Not only will you be able to use the fastest queue exiting Beijing Airport, you can enjoy a good nights rest without a random midnight passport check!
We drive through to the Temple of Heaven and watched countless elderly stay active in the park with racquet games and another including swords, sadly not real! Then arrived our lovely (ancient) Taiji instructor who raised my expectations as high as her foot as it reached her ear during her 'warm up'! If only I could tell her in mandarin my Taiji skills were as impressive as the 72 hour transit visa queue at the airport...
We proceeded to bumble our way through a song she played, twice, copying her graceful moves, much to the delight of the local crowd. She finished the lesson with some sound medical advice, not limited to but including breathing more fresh air as it will surely flatten our fat tummies?
Off to a tea ceremony which was amazing and again offered weight loss tea amongst the 1000 other varieties on offer...I'll go back to the air breathing treatment thanks!
We then walked the beautiful and ornate Imperial Palace, which was gorgeous - but feeling like I'd seen it before- queue the travel condition 'temple amnesia'!
After (another lazy susan) lunch, we headed off to the Imperial Palace! This is set on a huge parcel of countryside with many more temples, after seeing those we walked the 720 metre Long Corridor, all the way to the Marble Boat. Off on a boat ride after that, to another temple, however the locals grabbed two of us for a solid five minutes of photo taking - #whitegirl
We arrived at Beijing Airport after driving through the never ending city of high rises (1.4 billion people live in China) elbows sharpened for the check in queue! I learnt it was entirely possible to have an even smaller and more uncomfortable seat than the last flight, and again sought refuge in my natural sleeping tablets. Almost six hours later we arrived in Delhi International and boy was I surprised to see how quick, clean and efficient it is. Most of the group had e-visas and a few of us already issued. It was marginally quicker already having it so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the e-visas to my clients in the future.
We met our driver Rakesh and boarded our ultra modern shuttle which is something like business class I imagine! We were quickly reminded we were in India weaving through crazy traffic with endless beeping, homeless dogs, a police road check and sad reminders of the poverty that exists sleeping on the roadside. In stark contrast the Crowne Plaza hotel (compound!) we are staying in is nothing short of amazing, not missing the Chang An Grand...one...single...bit!