Sveinsen/Walaker in Beijing - Sept-Oct 2009

We had 10 fantastic days in Beijing! A big family of 11 - Bodil and Ole and all their children, children-in-law and grandchildren. We stayed in a nice hotel in downtown Beijing (with swimming pool, used almost every day by the kids!). We had 5 days of pre-arranged guiding to the main sights, and then 5 days where we walked on our own, did some shopping and enjoyed life. The weather was close to perfect, a bit of mist and rain the first 2-3 days and from then blue sky, sunny and 20+!
It was interessing to see Beijing again: Inger-Ann & Bjarte 7 days in Beijing April 2001
It was not planned, but we also got to be in Beijing for the and the Moon festival - comparable to if you could have been in Norway for 17th of May and Easter at the same time, i.e. a lot of happenings everywhere and very many Chinese tourists in Beijing (as it is a National holiday week off)!!.

(Ready for departure - Rachel and Frida with their new Trunki trollers, the perfect travel suitcase for children - they can drag it and they can sit on it while we drag them!)

(The hotel we stayed at, Jianguo, is next to the Silk Market and about 4,7 km away from Tiananmen square and the Forbidden city)

(Our first dinner in China: Hotpot, very trendy place, but not quite what we had expected...)

(Sightseeing day #1 - the Forbidden city)

(Our guide was a lovely Chinese girl called Minh - she spoke Norwegian and made it easy for the oldest and youngest to join as well)

(Bodil and Ole with grandchildren inside the Emperor's garden - Frida, Maren, Rachel and Oskar - Been here before - 2001)

(We visited a silk production house - and we all left with silk duvets... :-) )

(We had our own private bus and driver - Rachel, Maren and Frida enjoyed having the back seats)

(Sightseeing day #2 - first a stop at the Lama Temple, and then...)

(The Great Wall!! We visited the walls at Mutianyu - nicely restored, but also very commercial in the area around (stores, cable cars, ...), but on the wall it was fantastic!)

(We took the cable car up to the wall, then walked for about 1,2km and enjoyed the the wheeled toboggan ride down from the wall on a winding metal track!)

(Anders, Oskar, Rachel, Maren, Mariann and Inger-Ann)

(Sightseeing day #3 - Beijing Zoo and the Giant Pandas! Rachel and Frida with two Pandas...)

(...and Oskar and Maren with an eating Panda in the back)

(After the Zoo we visited the Summer Palace - fantastic flower Elephant at the entrance - we got to see fantastic flowers everywhere when we visited due to the 60th Anniversary)

(All 11 inside the Summer Palace: Frode, Bjarte, Rachel, Inger-Ann, Frida, Bodil, Oskar, Anders, Maren, Mariann and Ole)

(Bodil and the girls have a rest along the painted corridors)

(The last stop that day was at the Olympic arenas and the Bird's Nest)

(Sightseeing day #4 - Temple of Heaven - Maren and Frida at the Earthly Mount, together with one of many Chinese that wanted their photo taken together with the blond girls :-) )

(Next was a stop at the pearl market!)

(Private sightseeing: Frode, Anders and Oskar in the Hutongs south of Tiananmen)

(Ole at Tiananmen square on October 2nd to see all the parade cars on display - very facinating and very croweded - and a really nice full moon!)

(Sightseeing day #5 - bike rides inside the Hutongs - Bodil and Ole ready to go)

(Frida and Inger-Ann with driver - the bikes had a small electric engine in addition to normal pedals...)

(Stop for tea in this lovely womans house, and later lunch in another families house - very facinating and intersting!)

(Private sightseeing - on the local bus heading for Jingshan and Beihai - Ole, Rachel and Oskar)

(The Walaker family with the Forbidden City in the back - photo taken from the Jingshan "mountain")

(Maren and Rachel dressed up in traditional Concubine dresses)

(And Frida!)

(Inside Beihai park)

(We rented two electric boats on the see in Beihai park - great! - here Rachel on uncle Frode's lap)

(October 1st we had a relaxing day in Temple of Sun Park (Ritan) - fantastic lunch on the roof of one of the buildings inside the park)

(The area surrounding Tiananmen and the celebrations were all blocked off on October 1st, all we got to see was the fly-overs (and on TV ofcourse)-
here Rachel and Frida in front of one of an endless amount of 60th Anniversary decorations)

(The last day we went shopping in one of the main shopping streets (Wangfujing Dajie). Very crowded, and the blond girls were again very popular!!)

(We also got dressed up in new suits - tailor made to a nice price - Anders and our tailor)

(Living next to the Silk Market ment lots of new clothes for all of us - Rachel and Frida in their new Hello Kitty outfit)