Well, given that China was nowhere on my immediate radar before this week, we have been frantically studying China and especially Beijing in readiness for our visit in December.
Did you know that the population of the City of Beijing at 17.4 million is nearing the population for the country of Australia at 20.4 million.
Despite having lived in our most populous city (Sydney 3.8 million) I think we might be in for a huge culture shock at the sheer number of people we will come into contact with.
At times, the air pollution readings are up to 8 times the safe level recommended by the WHO. Guess we'll need to be finding ourselves masks to pack in our baggage.
And then there is the weather - found this on a website today:
December to March the average minimum temperature is -5 C and the average maximum is 0C. However, the temperature can fall to as low as -20 C in the winter.
So we can forget posting our Drizabones! - looks like we need them early in the trip too!
And we can't wait to see remains of earlier peoples dating back more than 2000 years - makes our historic sites at 200 years old seem a little new! It appears that the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu is the best to visit if you only have a short time. Not too many other tourists, the top reachable by cable car (think Maria and distance photos there), a reasonable distance available on the wall to walk and a tobbogan to the bottom (think Michael there!!).