What did we do before the internet?
I don’t think we realize how reliant we are in today’s society on the internet. We definitely found out today. We all had a great night sleep after our big walk yesterday and got up to do some banking emails and the like. Well suffice to say the WiFi in this place is sh*, you get on you get off all morning. It took Summer 4 hours to do some bills and blogging and I couldn’t even get my Gmail to open. So I suspect we have lost some comms with home for the 3 days to date we have been in Beijing. Then you want to google maps your destination for the day and check over trip advisor on how to get there. On, off all morning.
I went out the front and the guy at reception has the same problem, ‘I fix’ he said and just turned off the modem at the wall and turned it back on to reset it. No wonder we were on and then off all morning. Any way after this we gave up and had to rely on an old fashioned hand held map and street signs. Our desired train station was Shishahai and then from here a quick stroll through the street to Qian Hai (Front Lake). This is truly a beautiful part of Beijing and you can instantly see that it is a more relaxed and possibly a well to do area of Beijing. And when we got down to Qian Hai the kids could see an ice skating rink on the lake, they were instantly pumped and so was I.
We had to have lunch first and stopped off at this beautiful restaurant overlooking Qianhai. Stuffed ourselves with dumplings and Yang Zhu fried rice and made our way to the lake.
I did say this was on a real lake that had frozen over. It was truly awesome we embarked the ice to get our skates. Man it was slippery. We hadn’t even got the skates on yet.
Skates on ready to go Autumn was off as she got it quickly, Summer and Spring were struggling and me, well I was rubbish. Got a whole new appreciation for ice skating. We had this nice lady and her daughter give up their time and teach us how to skate it was really nice. The daughter was a gun, she was 10 and could skate forwards backwards with leg over leg moves. Her and Autumn hit it off and just went for it while the mother was teaching Spring. Summer was making sure the fence stayed upright and I spent more time on my belly than on skates. Spring finally got it and was off. Really amazing how fast kids pick things up. Then Summer and I had to go and keep up with the kids and make sure they were OK.
Easier said than done when they can skate faster than you. Any way 2.5 hours of ice skating was enough for Summer and me, our feet were caned and wishing we had hired the ice bicycle’s. I had to do 1 final lap to get the girls in. Disembarked the ice and walked over Silver Ingot Bridge this links Qianhai (Front lake) with Houhai (Back lake) you can take a rickshaw tour of the area but we were all too freezing and needed to walk to warm up. We just followed what seemed like a train of rickshaws through the Hutong alley ways, it was awesome.
I really don’t know why this area is not talked up in the travel blurbs on the internet because we stumbled upon it on a map to take the kids ice skating and it is one of the coolest places I have seen with roof top bars and the like all on the lakes.
Not sure if the locals want to keep it to themselves. We were the only non-Chinese on the ice. Caught the train back and successfully navigated peak hour. Was pretty easy and did see the people employed to push all commuters onto the train this was pretty funny and Spring had another panic attack so we waited 1 minute for the next train. Really efficient system. Back to our area of old Beijing quick feed and back to room for showers and bed. All up a really nice day in Beijing.