A window of opportunity for tourism this morning led us to the Forbidden City (now known as the The Palace Museum). It is spectacular, and the scale of the complex is staggering - it's a kilometre long and almost as wide. Because of this, pictures don't really do it justice. Although the cab journey was in rain, by the time we'd arrived it had cleared. But here, it seems a clear sky doesn't result in a sunny day. There was a smoggy haze filtering out the sunlight.
This afternoon I had to go shopping for some smart trousers, which I'd left behind. This is what happens when you do all your packing in 12 minutes on the morning of your flight. While Beijing is much more affluent and westernised than you'd imagine, I was surprised by just how expensive the shopping malls were. London prices. They are also very much more brand dominated. Clearly, there must be some well off people in Beijing. Taxis, however, are cheap, which is handy, because there's simply no other way of getting around for people like me - walking isn't an option; nor is public transport.
Tried some wine at a reception this evening. Great Wall Cabernet Sauvignon isn't very nice - a bit oxidized and it seems to have a faint whiff of taint. The white was made in an oxidised style and was a bit nasty. There was also a sparkling wine which a colleague tried. She had quite enjoyed it - but she mistakenly thought she'd been drinking cider.