One of my very favorite parts of the trip was also one of the simplest. Fayfay suggested we rent bikes and ride around the city. It was a beautiful afternoon and we were able to tour out along one of the lakes and in a very old part of the city where the streets are known as Hutongs for their ancient architecture.
The streets were so narrow that we had to pull to the side if any cars came along, but it was really pretty. It’s what I like to call “Real China”.
We were probably about a mile or so from where we picked up the bikes from when I felt the first raindrop. We had a choice, should we try to find shelter and wait out the rain, or push full speed ahead and try to beat the rain. We ended up doing the latter, and it was a good choice. Not five minutes after we turned in the bikes and the sky let loose and poured down rain, heavier than I have seen since I came to China.
We took the bus to a really cool walking street with several souvenir shops along with several famous American brands. Eventually the rain stopped and we were able to walk around and see some of the shops and stuff. I found several neat things to take home like decorative chopsticks and such.
All in all it was a pretty great day. Stay tuned tomorrow, and I’ll tell you about hiking the Great Wall.