After a very long flight from Seattle, including a short layover in San Francisco, we arrived in Beijing. It was a cloudy day, not too cold, and not too smoggy. We were picked up at the airport by our tour guide, Phoebe, and were whisked onto a bus and driven to our hotel about an hour away.
When we got to our room, somewhere on the 8th or 9th floor, I was in a hurry to plug in our phones to charge them up. I found an outlet below the bedside stand, plugged in our adapter that we brought along for foreign power outlets, and BLAM! The room went dark, and all the lights on the entire floor went out! It took a bit of time to figure out what happened, but eventually someone showed up and found the main breaker panel in a hallway and all was good. The adapter was toast, but later I noticed the small print on the iPhone charger that said it could be used on 120 or 240 V systems, so I plugged it directly into the 240 wall outlet and presto, phones got charged.
After that little episode, we sauntered up to the top of the hotel where there was a revolving restaurant. The views were great, the food, not so much.
After lunch, we ventured outside and took a short walk down the side street the hotel was on. There wasn’t much to see except lots of people on bicycles and scooters. That seems to be the main mode of transportation in this neck of the woods.