A fab week so far
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We're having a lovely week so far relaxing & exploring a bit more.
Saturday was a lazy morning & a wander around our local area and a coffee in Sanlitun, and lunch at a new place with a lovely courtyard outside to enjoy the sunshine. In the evening we went to the Workers Stadium to watch Beijing Guoan play again, although they lost 4-0 so not the best result....! Still, good fun at the game & a good atmosphere, went with our mate Alistair again and we sat higher up this time, so got a great view and it wasn't as crowded. After that we headed to Paddy's to watch the Everton - Southampton match, and both were very pleased that Everton beat them 3-1!
Sunday we headed up to one of the local flower markets as we wanted a couple of plants for the apartment (and I planned to get Andy to buy me some fresh flowers too ;)
A big warehouse full of beautiful plants, flowers, massive bonsai treet, and a few other stores too, as well as a pet section selling baby rabbits, turtles, mice, birds, tropical fish, you name it
In the afternoon Andy played badminton with the Internations group, so really enjoyed that and met a few new people, I met my friend Tracey in one of the coffee shops where we sat & put the world to rights for a few hours! It was really nice having a good old girly gossip over coffee & cake. We met Andy after & had a couple of glasses of wine then went to our favourite Italian for dinner. Tracey & Tracy both a little tipsy after a few wines, so headed home!
Monday we went for a massage, with the free vouchers I'd got from the ladies evening, the spa is called Dragonfly and is one of the nicer ones here, and we had a 1 hour massage each, I had a traditional Chinese one & Andy had a Japanese one, both were very good & pummelled up where we needed it, came out feeling very light & refreshed.
A bit of a rest at home after before heading to the 798 Art District. This area was a disused electronics factory built by the East Germans, and is now a massive industrial complex full of art galleries, art workshops, cafes, and shops. It's a really lovely area with a great feel about it, and you could happily spend a day there wandering. It was about half an hour away on the bus (10p again!) and was great. Apparantley where it's become more touristy now too, the 'serious' art area is now a bit further north & also worth a visit. We met up with quite a few friends there, so had a wander & a few drinks, then in the evening went to a Mongolian music festival in a 'theatre' which is one of the converted factories, quite a bizarre evening
Tuesday we walked to Chaoyang Park, which is the biggest park in Beijing, it has everything from a fairground section, loads of fountains, every sport you can imagine - table tennis area, beach volleyball, a pet play park, boating lakes, food stalls, picnic areas, and so on. It took ages to walk around & was very busy, but quite something to see. There were loads of photo shoots going on too, mostly wedding shoots but also others with girls in posh frocks etc.
Next to it is a shopping complex called Solana Mall, more Americal in style with outdoor & indoor shopping, set by the lake in the park & with restaurants overlooking it. A real nice place to walk around rather than the normal big indoor shopping malls. Just along from that is Lucky Street where there are several bars & restaurants, so a pit stop was required here for beer & pasta. We taxi'd back as we'd walked such a long way!!! Recovered in the evening with a bottle of wine, pizza & a film.
Today is Wednesday, and we're off to the Summer Palace, so will write more again soon!