We’d planned for this to be our last day in Beijing with a night train to Pingyao proposed as our exit strategy. As it happened there are no free spots on this evenings train so we’re forced to wait until tomorrow evening instead. No matter really – being forced to stop is proving to be a blessing on this tour and it’s been a wonderfully relaxed but nonetheless productive day. I’m rattling through a backlog of journal excerpts in preparation for a series of blogs to support the galleries we’ve yet to publish and Fi is on recon duty for Pingyao, presently booking our hotel for Wednesday eve.
Yesterday we hit the Summer Palace after sorting out the onward journey. It was the only thing on our list left to see in Beijing and was a nice afternoon out. The place is choc-full of the kind of traditional Chinese temples and buildings you’d hope to see when you imagine a journey here.
We had a few hours there but you could easily spend a whole day within. After a red sun sunset we set off back with a renewed sense of determination to find a damn Peking Duck restaurant. While we’d approached the hostel front desk before about this I figured I’d give it another shot, and low and behold it turns out there’s one just down the bloody road. Five minutes later we’re stood in the lobby of a very nice venue called Bei Ping Ju and an hour and a half later they rolled us out of there. We had the works – a full duck carved in front of us and served with all the trimmings. They even made a broth with the carcass. It took us 9 days in Beijing to find a place and in fairness it was probably worth the wait.