I flew to Seattle on Friday. My flight to Beijing was to leave that night also, but the flight was overbooked and they were asking for volunteers to give up their seat and go on the same flight the following day. I didn't have to be in Beijing until Monday so I gave up my seat in exchange for an extra flight voucher, a guaranteed seat on the next day's flight, and vouchers for a hotel stay and meals to tide me over. The next day I checked my luggage in at the airport then took light rail from the airport to the Pike Place Market area in Seattle.
I walked around there for quite awhile and then walked south to the Pioneer Square area. They have an underground tour that goes under old Seattle, but I didn't go. Next time. I did see some of the unusual sights that the area has to offer, though.
Later in the day I went back to the airport and caught the 14 hour flight, arrived in Beijing Sunday at about midnight local time, and went to the hotel to sleep.
Each day we worked and then had some sort of activity and meal. The first day, Monday, we ate a formal lunch at the Peking Duck restaurant and went to the Summer Palace.
The pictures don't really do the Summer Palace justice because it is a very large complex with incredibly ornate buildings and stone sculptures.
That night we also spent a brief time at the Olympic park.
That's the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest.
During lunchtime Tuesday we walked a little way from the Adobe to one of the city's universities. We only had time to walk through a corner of the campus and then head back to the office again.
We ate at many restaurants during the trip and tried many exotic dishes. One of my favorites was Hai Di Lao Hot Pot restaurant. The pictures tell the story.
We went to two different markets during our week, the Silk Market and the Pearl Market. They're not open air markets as I had imagined, and they are mostly for tourists. But, it was fun to find an interesting trinket and have to barter with the stall keeper. Here's one of our group bartering at the markets.
Beijing also has some new areas for shopping.
Thursday we took a good portion of the afternoon and went a bunch of places on foot.
So, that takes us from Saturday through Thursday evening. Sometime later I'll post some more photos from Friday and Saturday which was the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. I took lots and lots of pictures during the trip -- of the food, of the alleyways, of the sites, and so on. Posting these is like a stone skipping across a large pond. These only touch a small portion of the things we saw and experienced. I'll post more if there is interest. And for those who will be in Montana for Thanksgiving I'll bring the lot of them to show to whomever wants to see them.