Beijing — Day One


Tiananmen Square Panorama 2

Tiananmen Square

As some of you may be aware, Ursula and I just returned from a chilling visit to China.  You got a preview of this series in my photo-rich Special Preview Blog from February 15.  We departed El Paso on February 6, changing to an Air China Boeing 777-300ER after a few hours spent in Los Angeles International Airport.  We then winged across the Pacific Ocean and the International Date Line, landing early in the morning on February 8.  How cold was it upon arrival?  Saying the something is hellishly cold is a bit of an oxymoron, so let’s just say it was colder than Atlanta during the winter of ’13-’14.  The sky was cloudy, snow fell, and the temperature hovered just above 0° (-17­° Celsius).

Bitter cold ride from Beijing Capital International Airport

Bitter cold ride from Beijing Capital International Airport

We were picked up at the airport by a representative of the tour company we were using — China Spree.  Expect to read a lot more on this wonderful company throughout the series, but for now suffice it to say that this is one of the best yet most affordable tour companies you will find anywhere.  We were driven to Traders Hotel, a Shangri-la property in the heart of the business district and attached to the China World Mall at the China World Trade Center.

The view from the front of Traders Hotel

The view from the front of Traders Hotel

Because of the inclement weather Ursula and I decided to explore the underground mall.  What we discovered was a wonderland of very high-end stores selling luxury brand goods such as Gucci, Coach, Cartier, and many others.

China World Mall

China World Mall

Also inside the mall were myriad eating establishments ranging in price from moderate to extravagant.

China World Mall

China World Mall

There was even an indoor ice-skating rink.

Mall Skating

Mall Skating

But even if you weren’t into shopping or eating, the mall contains much to see and photograph.

China World Mall

China World Mall

China World Mall

China World Mall

Railroad Tracks in a Restaurant ?!?!

Railroad Tracks in a Restaurant ?!?!

China World Mall

China World Mall

By the time we had traversed the mall and its numerous wings the sky had cleared, temperatures had soared to the home freezer range, and we decided to step out for our first foray into Beijing.  What surprised us were the modern skyscrapers and canyons of glass.

Beijing Reflections

Beijing Reflections

Impressively tall and magnificently designed buildings greeted us at every turn.

 

The "Pants" Building — CCTV

The “Pants” Building — CCTV (China Central Television)

If you’re into photographing reflections then the Beijing business district is certainly calling out to you.

Beijing Reflections

Beijing Reflections

Beijing Reflections

Beijing Reflections

Our first day was a huge success, and our final sight of this modern city before turning in for the night were the lights still shining from the Lunar New Year celebration.

Still Decorated for the Lunar New Year

Still Decorated for the Lunar New Year

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Photography, travel

3 responses to “Beijing — Day One

  1. Pingback: China PhotoBlog Series Begins - WaltherForums

  2. Great shots, as always. Love the reflections.