After over 24 hours of traveling, and one extremely long 12 hour flight which wasn't that bad, just long, we arrived in Beijing. The airport was fantastic. It was clean, efficient and quiet until you got outside, it was also 10:20pm:) We got scammed by a 'taxi' in the taxi lane. If they don't have meters, they ARE NOT a taxi, even if the have the taxi sign on top of their car. We got safely to our hotel. We love the hotel, it is right across from a gorgeous park, Longdan Park. By street I mean 6+ lane road/highway. There is a walking bridge over it. After sleeping on an extremely comfortable western style bed for 4 hours I waited for DH to wake up at 6am. We went to see about going to the Great Wall and booked a tour for Saturday, got a walking map and decided to walk to the sites. We walked around the beautiful park first. It cost 2RMB to enter, about 35cents. There were groups of people doing tai chi and playing hacky sack. The park encircles a lake and there are rock gardens, recreated temples, and beautiful pathways. We exited the park, walked the wrong direction for a couple/few miles, then asked some guards where we were, back tracked and went the right way to the Temple of heaven. The architecture was cool. It felt so very sad to me to see a place that was once an epicenter of worship allow peddlers(DH is a softy!) and noisy tourists. Even though it is not my religion I felt a sense of disappointment for the loss of belief or sacredness, it is hard to describe, but like a historical site has been downgraded to a photo op for foreigners, although most of the visitors were Chinese. I guess a loss of history.