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Lovell to Beijing, Part Two

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With the exception of our overnight trip to Shijiazhuang, our first week was spent in Beijing. Took a public bus to view Anna's school to visit her campus and dorm. We hired a private guide to take us through the Forbidden City and later a tour of a Houtong neighborhood. Also, high on the 'to do' list was to walk through local neighborhoods and to have Peking Duck. Anna recommended that we go to the Beijing Wangfujing Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, in business since 1864. Simply spectacular! So good that we went back a second time upon our return to Beijing.  We flew from the Beijing airport to Chongqing via China Southern Airlines on a roughly three-hour flight. When planning the trip, I was apprehensive about flying domestically but Anna pointed out that would require a roughly 24-hour train ride. Nothing but high praise for the airline system. From security that was fast and efficient (and it seemed to me more thorough than our system) to the new airplanes and the friendly service, especially to the foreigners, to the airplanes that are well designed to handle large numbers of passengers. It is said that Chongqing is one of the fastest growing regions on the planet. And based on the traffic, stores/malls and people, it sure seems that way. Known as the city in the mountains, it offers spectacular vistas. The residents are also very proud of their spicy cuisine and 'Hot Pot'. When dining, our hosts always made sure that we had a cooler option available.


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