Last day in Beijing. Ivy and I make good traveling buddies. We enjoy spending time hanging out together and just taking the days as they come. We considered The Summer Palace, but opted to take it easy and not feel rushed. We had breakfast and finished watching Croutching Tiger Hidden Dragon together. Interesting note, learning more Chinese the title makes more sense. The young girl in the film was called Jenn in the translation, but her Chinese name is Xiao Long. Xiao Long means small dragon. Her boyfriend in the story is Dark Cloud. His name is Luo Xiao Hu. Xiao Hu means small tiger. He is the one croutching about to leap, and she is the one that is hiding her true self.
After finishing the movie we checked out of the hotel and grabbed some Starbucks. The thought was to meander towards a park and stroll a bit, but we got sidetracked by a bookstore. I found a special surprise for Moira and Ivy requested that I buy her one of my favorite books. I bought her Gatsby and she had me write a note on the inside of the jacket. We hit the park and meandered while discussing literature. A really nice morning. She was excited to hear about the premise for Gatsby and the setting of the jazz age.
Heading back to the hotel we grabbed some sort of enormous croissant to share and more coffee. What the heck is this monstrosity? It was a light pastry with almonds. It had a tasty thin layer of sweetness in the middle. In general, sweets here in China are way less sweet than similar items in the states. It's true of items like Coca Cola as well. They put far less sugar in Coke here than in the states. The average Chinese palate doesn't go for sugary tastes like we do in the states.
Another thing that stands out about Beijing compared to other Chinese cities is the older architecture. Beijing doesn't have the newer modern feel that you get in Hangzhou or Shanghai. Streets are more narrow here and it's lacking the wide walking and biking paths that the newer cities have. However, Beijing has random historical landmarks that just sort of pop up out of nowhere. Like, hey, check out this centuries old Drum Tower next to the road.
Overall this was a fun trip. So glad I checked off some bucket list items. Ivy and I are talking about a possible trip to Xian at the end of the month. Terracotta warriors!