I'll start this blog entry with a few more nice words about the Marriott Northeast. The staff in the CL somehow found out it was my birthday on Tuesday. They surprised me with a wonderful cake prepared by the Chef. That was one good cake! The ladies working in the CL are true professionals. The managers, Sohee Kim and Julia, along with the supervisor Crystal, are outstanding. All the agents Amy, Ann, Kelly, Summer, Ada, Karen, Hanna, and Cherry are great. This team takes the time to get to know the guest and their preferences. As soon as I walk in, someone is preparing an Earl Grey Tea before I'm two steps in the door.... If this site is cooperating with me, I'll include a few hotel pictures.
I did my first full day of exploring yesterday. I jumped on the subway....just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The system is clean and easy to use. It's made up of 15 basic lines. You purchase tickets for each ride. One ticket will allow for unlimited transfers within the system. Once you leave the subway, you insert your ticket in the exit turnstile. Each ticket is just 2 CNY or about $0.35. Although the subway is easy...it can get sardine can crowded. No one seems to mind the tight quarters, that's a good thing. The ride from the Marriott Northeast via the Liangmaqiao stop on Line 10, was only a few minutes to Tiananmen Square on Line 1.
I stopped a few subway points along the way to Tiananmen at The Temple of Heaven garden..built in 1420. This is a huge park with many folks grouping for exercise sessions, music playing, game playing, and general good times. Inside the walls of the park sits The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. It's a magnificent structure that was built without a single nail. There should be some pictures attached below. I'm partial to the folks playing music and games. These are not spring chickens. Besides the rhythmic exercising, people were playing a hacky sack type game with an oversized badminton birdie. Man, were they good!! They were kicking up their heels and launching this birdie in the air to the next person.
I'll add details of Tiananmen in the next blog entry.