My Life - So Far

"Unbounded ambition makes an obscure existence simply impossible for me"
Lucien de Rubempré

Friday, September 28, 2007

Beijing II

My second day in Beijing was a rainy day. First I went to have a coffee at Starbucks at Oriental Plaza which is a huge shopping complex on Wangfujing Street. I strolled around and was impressed by the sheer grandeur of the buildings and streets! But actually I was a bit disappointed of Beijing and I couldn't really imagine how they ever will be able to organize the next Olympic Games. The smog was thick as butter and even when it was supposed to be sunny you could hardly see a sunray. The public transportation system in specific and the traffic in general were everything else than well organized. They only have two subway lines but hundreds of buses.

The problem with the buses is that if you can't read the chinese characters you won't be able to figure out where the bus is going and where the stop is you have to get off. So the only mean of transportation is taking taxis. But here as well, taxidrivers don't speak any english at all. Actually nobody does (as far as I was concerned). Anyway, I had my coffee at Starbucks and then I decided to walk to the Temple of Heaven which is approximately one hour by walking. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City and was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.


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