So last week I was in Beijing for a couple of days for a conference and I had a couple of hours on the first afternoon that I arrived to go and see something before I was confined to the hotel/conference for a couple of days.
Never having been there before, I think I expected it to be better organised than other cities in China and I also expected the air to be polluted.
What I didn’t expect was the traffic to be almost stationary everywhere – even worse than Shanghai – and for the air polution to be so bad that everything is grey and you don’t see the sky, just a wall of smog.
I thought the closest place to the hotel was going to be Tiananmen Square – which turned out to be about 10km and so about 70 mins in a taxi each way.
I’ll let the pictures tell their own story – but big and empty are the two adjectives that spring to mind.
This is the lowering of the flag that happens every evening with quite a crowd, even in the rain.
And finally, the view from the hotel bedroom window on one of the brightest days.
Don’t however assume that this grey picture of Beijing means I didn’t like the place, because I did and next time we will go as a family when we have time to go and see more that the city has to offer.