I'm here in Beijing, sitting on my bed in the hotel room, one day before the storytelling begins. I arrived on Saturday, after a 12-hour flight from Chicago. Did you know that the airplane goes north and then west to get here? Here's a view of the horizon, from the plane.
Alberto, my friend and tour manager, was waiting for me at the airport, to my great relief. We had a Plan B, which involved me getting a taxi by myself to get to the hotel. I'm glad we didn't need to use that plan.
The hotel is in a non-touristy part of Beijing, just around the corner from where Alberto is staying. It's quiet and clean, with a giant buffet breakfast. Today, for example, I had watermelon, dragon fruit, garlicky noodles, sauteed tofu, snow peas and black mushrooms, scrambled eggs with peppers and tomatoes and cantaloupe. They don't serve coffee or tea here.
So far, it's very comfortable.
Yesterday, we went to the Forbidden City. I'll show pictures of that next. Right now, though, I'm heading downstairs to meet Alberto for coffee.