One unique incident and accident bears relating... Mykaela and Marissa's outlet exploded when Mykaela plugged in a charger and blew the fuse in their room. Ask Marissa about this incident... she has an entertaining story to tell! When they tried to rely on technology as a means to communicate this situation with the hotel staff, Google's translation app was also a spectacular failure and stubbornly refused to translate in their hour of need. Apparentely Google's "off-line" translation app, for Android, is "off-line", in multiple ways and does not work for translation from Chinese to English without a network connection! Ask Mykaela about this, she has some choice words for google translate that describe her feelings accurately. Regardless, the M&M's were able to convey the nature of their situation to the concerned hotel staff who graciously reset the breaker and all was again well when the situation ended well!
Our group at Tiananmen Square
After a group picture at the square, we visted the National Museum. This building has grand, spectacular architecture as the following images attempt to convey...
There were interesting coins shaped like knifes, porcelain pottery, jade, and much more. One of my favorites was the modern photograpy exhibit...
Following lunch we visited the Forbidden City. It was fascinating to learn from our guide that the entire city was constructed in three years (it took 14 years to prepare the materials and pave the way politically for a total of 17 years). The scale of the city was certainly impressive, and walking around it, we all exceeded our normal allottment of steps for the day!
After the forbidden city we drove to a Hutong and exeperienced a fun Rickhaw ride through the Hutong district. At the end of the ride we stopped at a very clean public toilet. Some of us, who shall remain unmentioned, did not look carefully and entered the wrong gender's restrooms. Oops. After that we headed over for dinner to a local families' residence where we dined on local cusine. We learned how to make dumplings, and then Mrs Fan demonstrated her musical talents for us by playing what looked to me like a cross between a dulcimer and a harp or piano. Mrs Fan had a very cute, and active, six year old girl named "Angel".
To finish up the evening, several of us walked over to the night market and marvelled at the local fast food cusine. We did not partake of the scorpions or starfish on a stick. Finally, with tired feet we headed back to the hotel and a welcome bed that awaited us. A big thank-you to our gracious Chinese hosts and guides!