Monday, April 11, 2011

China-Hanoi to Beijing (Day 62)

We rose at 4:30 am to catch our ride in the dark to the airport.


The Hanoi airport was kind of lousy and the only spot I would find to blog away the time was on the floor on the second floor.  We flew China Southern Airline and the first leg was great with the plane only about half full so we got our own row.  We had a stop in somewhere in China to go through customs and load more passengers.  It is probably stupid but I was sure to dress cold to be sure not to set off the thermal temperature sensors.  We did have a funny new security issue that they did not like metal cables.  This covered our laptop cable locks and climbing gear (specifically nuts).  We had to dig through all our bag and empty almost everything until we found what they were worried about.  Landing in Beijing it was a nice cold day outside and we had a funny feeling looking around the plane that we could be just as well be landing at LAX.

I’d done some research and felt prepared for China that we would take the yellow line to the end then get on the blue line (which runs in a circle) and exit at symbols (space invaders, T, n).  In Beijing we debated where to take a taxi or try the light rail.  The signs to the light rail were good in the airport and Anja was excited about the adventure.  The signs were also in English so things were pretty easy.  The yellow line was really nice. 


Once we switch to the blue line everything got more China-esk; everything was packed and everyone was pushy.  Trains came every 5 minutes and every train was packed with people and we could barely get on, especially with our luggage.  We made it to space invaders, T, n and exited to the street.  I was pretty sure the hotel was 1 km down the street and the day was nice so we walked it.  Anja was proud to have navigated our way to our hotel using only walking and public transit.


We checked into the Capitol Hotel only about 1 km east of Tiananmen Square.  It was pretty nice and Anja worked a little.  We checked out the indoor pool and dry sauna.  Since we had a good bathtub so we also did all our laundry washing in the tub.


Our room also had nice views to the east. 

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