Beijing belied it's reputation when we awoke to a clear, sunny morning today. We had arranged a guide, Johnny, for the day, thank goodness. Even in the hotel hardly anyone speaks English. We tried for ages to flag down a taxi, but Johnny explained that since most drivers now just use phone apps for bookings it is difficult to get a cab any other way. This is proving especially difficult for old people without mobiles. In the end we took a local bus - squeezing room only. You have to be ready at the door to get off the bus or subway as no one in the way is likely to move aside to let you out. We achieved a lot, first visiting the Temple of Heaven then Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace and finished with a rickshaw ride through the hutongs (old part of town) which included a visit to a private home for a cup tea and translated chat with the gracious lady owner. This image was taken in the hutongs.

I have given up on trying to upload my blips from the hotel. The wifi is hopeless. After our good experiences with it in Russia I had assumed it would be even better here. I used it in a coffee shop and it was fine so just seems to the hotel - not very impressive. May have to be back blips.

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