My roommate Kat, got in quite late last night, I was so tired but yet we both got up at 5.30 in the morning. That’s not much sleep. It was really nice to see her, we will travel together for the next 24 days. We have a buffet breakfast with our group, it was lovely to meet everyone. The buffet was Chinese and American. Moko our guide pick us up and we spend the morning in Tiananman square. Tiananmen gate or ” Gate of Heavenly Peace” was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1415. The square itself was built in the 17th century. Of course we all remember it for the protests and massacre that happened in1989! It is also the largest paved square. It was exciting but then all the buildings, their rooftops and architecture all started to look alike and it was sooo crowded., just in that area we probably walked 10000 steps! Glad I saw it once, can’t believe that was Kat’s second time!. From there we went to the Hutong district; which means old district with very narrow street. Absolutely Loved it. We all were transported in rickshaws and our pedaler Joe was delightful, he had to be extremely strong to carry us around. The area is so different with its low rise grey tile rooftops, pretty roses everywhere, small scooters parked in front of their houses and fragrant smells emanating from their kitchen; by then it was close to lunch time. We visited a family who had lived in the same compound for 100 years; and their middle square led to their bedroom, kitchen and studio area. Three generations now lived there today. I can see why since a simple 2 bedroom apartment in Beijing cost 1 million dollars!!! Some of the streets are so narrow, for even rickshaws can’t get through. After our authentic Chinese lunch we headed to the Emperor’s summer palace. It was as everything else seems to be in Beijing; ia huge compound on a lake. To get from one structure to the next, they built the longest corridors abutting the lake. The open corridors are adorned with fourteen thousand etchings, which have to be touched up every two years!! Facing the emperor’s actual palace is a marble pavilion in the shape of a river boat. Surrounding this huge compound, the emperors dug a river with tons of arched bridges surrounded by weeping willows, so they could get there faster; no cars or planes in those days!! After our half hour break at the hotel to freshen up we went to see a Kung Fu show at the red theatre. Even though we saw most of the show, some us dozed off here and there. The show resembled Le Cirque du Soleil. It was short, touristy but enjoyable.. Afterwards lots of us were starving and none of the restaurants were open. So we ended having this amazing gelato, just as tasty as in Italy, green tea and a pastry. Since we walked at least 18000 steps today, there was no guilt there! The end of another awesome day in Beijing!