Day 2 in Beijing got started at 8 am with a drive to the Pearl Factory tour. I learned all about cultured pearls and have never seen so many pearls in one place in my entire life! They were lovely. Again, it was a shopping opportunity, I looked but did not buy.
Next, we were to walk through the Summer Palace of some Emperor or another. They are all jumbled in my head. It was a lovely lake area. There were no leaves on the trees and there was ice on the lake, but there were spots of beauty around. There is no fishing or swimming in this spring-fed lake, as they wish to keep it pure. Paddle boats are rented in the summer, however (we saw them moored).
I believe this below is the palace in the distance. That's Suzette on the side, snapping a photo. Notice we are still in our heavy winter gear. Cold wind, cold temps.
There are actually quite a few kites in the air in the photo below. About 6, I believe. It was fun to see those.
And here are a group of Chinese people just singing together in the morning for the joy and fun of it. Kind of like exercise for the soul, our guide said (Tai Chi being the exercise for the body).
Chinese sidewalk art. Painting with water and a brush on the sidewalk. Calligraphy--to show off one's skills in this ancient Chinese art.
We walked through some garden areas after this and saw myriads of paintings and statues and lots and lots of tourists. Berenice was plenty tuckered out after this walk. We probably meandered through here for close to an hour. She tried buying some post cards from a vendor outside the Summer Palace gates. We were told that we could bargain with them and that usually half what they offer is sufficient. It worked for me nicely at the beginning when I bought a nice tour-guide book for the Summer Palace. He asked ten, I paid 5. Not so good with Berenice when the lady asked for "One Dolla!" for one set of post cards, Berenice asked if she could get BOTH sets. Then she wanted to see what the photos were on the post cards. Then the lady insisted that ONE set was "One Dolla!" She would not give in and let her buy two for a dollar. So I said, "Just forget it. Our group is leaving us. We have to keep moving. Give her back the post cards and get your dollar back." But that lady had a very firm grip on that dollar bill and would not give it back when Berenice tried returning those cards. So she got one set for one dollar. And they are nice post cards, I'm sure. I don't like shopping and I ESPECIALLY don't like THAT kind of shopping! That was about my only successful experience in shopping in China (the guide book on the Summer Palace)