Beijing - time zone shift
6.24.12 - 6.24.12 75 °F
We we made it to Beijing and actually landed early. The Delta business elite class seats lay down flat, but they weren't that comfortable. I decided to sleep through the initial dinner. The subsequent snacks were unimpressive, and after waking up after about 8 hours of interrupted and bouncy sleep, a cold plate of steak and very overcooked scallops really didn't hit the spot. The coffee was good though.
The entry process was easy, with the lines shorter than going through Atlanta, and our bags came out with only a short wait. I had hired a limo to get us to the hotel, and he was there with a big sign with my name on it. After more than 13 hours in an airplane, it was good to see that foreign but friendly face.
We are staying at the Ritz Carlton Financial Street, which was included with the Viking package. Check-in was easy, even at 1:00am in the morning, and a room and a shower was good. I actually slept pretty well and we set the alarm to make sure we made the 10:30am close of breakfast. The breakfast buffet, included in our package, was impressive - a good mixture of chinese and western fare. After some fresh squeezed orange juice, hot coffee, and food, life was better. My traveling companion wanted to find a collapsible umbrella, so it turns out there is a high end shopping mall attached to the Ritz. We probably wouldn't have found it, if it had not been for the want of the umbrella. We will explore it more over the next few days.
Today we are thinking of the Beijing Zoo - sort of have to see the Panda's. A short taxi ride away. The concierge gave us a map and a card with the kanji to show the taxi driver, so we think we are off soon.
I will be attaching photo's as we go along - not many - as they are bandwidth intensive, but will have an album up after I get back to the USA.