We left off on Wednesday when the air here took a turn for dangerous with an AQI over 400. It has continued to be some of the worst air we get over here but we couldn't stay inside everyday.
On Thursday, we took the fast train to Tianjin hoping to have better air there. It was better than Beijing but still not great. Jon and I had no plan in Tianjin so we just walked around until we were starving and then found a place to eat. We walked through the financial district and looked at the old buildings while everyone else looked at us. We had our pictures taken many times - even on security guards' cell phones!
Later, we walked in another direction and ran into Italian Style Town! (Or as the sign told us Ltalian Style Town.) There were many couples getting their wedding photos taken and Jon and I had an Ltalian lunch that he deemed 'not bad' or maybe it was 'pretty good' but nothing like the food he and his family makes.
On Friday, we spent the morning walking around the 798 Art District in Beijing and then had delicious dumplings for lunch. Later, we had some photos printed and did a little more gift shopping. Jon enjoyed some pork buns from a sidewalk vendor on the walk home in the evening.
On Saturday, Jon and I went on an easy, short hike outside Beijing. We walked through the old walled village of Huang Hua (Yellow Flower), their farms, and then up to the Zhuangdaokou section of the Great Wall. This was a better way for Jon to see the Great Wall for the first time. Unfortunately, the air continued to be poor. Later, we went out for dinner with a couple friends at a Sichuan restaurant.
Here is Jon at the Great Wall:
Just kidding. Here we are:
Jon is now on a plane on his way back to California. We had a great week together but it went by entirely too quickly! We are both looking forward to December when we will see each other again!
--Sarah & Jon--