Saturday we took the overnight train back to Beijing. Although we only had seats (as opposed to beds), considering our journey to Xi'an they were the best seats ever.
We met our taxi driver John, who we hired for the whole day, when we got to the station. First, we went to the Summer Palace - it was very pretty, and full of tourists.
These water lilies were as big as my head!
After the Summer Palace, we went to the Great Wall. Most people go to Badaling, which is the closest site to Beijing. John took us out to Mutianyu, which is farther away and therefore has fewer tourists. Plus, since we went in the afternoon, most of the people had already left, which meant there were times when I had the whole thing to myself.
Our last day was definitely the highlight. Before we left, everyone talked about how wonderful Beijing was. Until that last day, I had no idea how it was possible for people to enjoy the city.
Anyway, now there's fewer than three weeks remaining, and I'm deep into planning for my upcoming trips. Very exciting!