We both slept pretty well last night, probably due to the overnight flight. We were planning on going to the Great Wall today but when we woke up we looked outside and saw that the smog levels were ridiculously high (3x what they were yesterday). Rather than go to the Great Wall where we'd like to be able to see into the distance we decided to explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
After breakfast we headed over to Tiananmen Square with the hopes of seeing Mao's mausoleum but we got there just after it closed down for the day (it's only open from 8-12). The smog levels were ridiculous. The visibility was so low that it was hard to see the Forbidden City from Tiananmen Square which is only across the street.
We took some photos then went over to the Forbidden City. I didn't realize how expansive the Forbidden City actually was. It wasn't too crowded which was nice and we were able to walk around and see most of what we wanted to. Aside from the smog it was a good time walking around.
Next up was the Summer Palace which is where the emperors would go during the summer to relax. It would have been a beautiful area if not for the overwhelming smog again. We spent some time there before it closed down and we had to leave. It was getting pretty cold so we found the nearest metro station and went down to the big food street. We didn't really know what we were in the mood for but eventually stumbled into a pretty busy hot pot place called Supreme Hotpot. We ordered a meat combo plate, some cabbage and noodles. They bring out a big steaming stove filled with charcoal which is surrounded by a soup of choice. You dip your meats and veggies in the soup to cook them, almost like a fondu. We had that and some beers and it really hit the spot for not much money.
Once we finished eating we picked up a few things and a gallon of water from 7-11 since we can't actually drink the tap water here. Hopefully the weather tomorrow is better for our visit to the Great Wall. All the walking around mixed with the smog has made us really tired so we're going to relax for a bit then head to bed.