Skating at Zizhuyuan Park

I have so much time in Beijing at the moment as I am currently on semester break (I’ve turned American… we say semester instead of term!). The difficult thing has been finding activities to do, rather than sitting indoors watching The Martian for the 5th time this week. It was even harder as most of my friends have all gone travelling or gone home to see friends and family.

Although, a little bit of joy happened! My friend Christie came back! She’s been around China with her mum, and just gone to visit our friend Hyun’s home in Vietnam.

One evening, we went out for dinner for her birthday when we went past a lake which looked weird… people were walking on the water? Christie told me that all the lakes had frozen and open to the public for ice skating!

So the next day, we went to one of the parks local to us. Zizhuyuan Park is located in the North-West of Haidian District. It’s also called Purple Bamboo Garden, which I think is brilliant! It’s to do with the excessive amounts of bamboo found in the park. I discovered that from April till June, the park holds a “Bamboo Culture Festival” which sounds bizarre and wonderful at the same time! Apparently, you can learn about different types of bamboo and learn bamboo art and dancing.

I am definitely going, because I hope to one day get a question about bamboo at a pub quiz.

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Anyway, we went to the park and walked to the main lake past the crowds of Chinese people. Parks in China are so wonderful. There is an exercise dance (like Zumba) that EVERYONE in China knows. It’s a morning or evening exercise which many middle age and elderly people do to ensure they get the exercise they need. It’s interesting as it is such a difference from the UK, you never see that happening in a park! There’s also salsa dancing, singing and old men playing cards, it’s such a social place for anybody.
Me and Christie arrived and got out skates. We put down a deposit, but the cost of the skates were 35RMB each!! That’s Β£3! FOR ICE SKATING?!?
The best thing is that’s it skating on actual frozen water which you don’t get it England. The only thing is that we couldn’t figure out how they made the ice so thick and safe…
Ice skating was fun and something different. It becomes tedious going to the same bars and restaurants, needed to shake it up!

After a few fall downs, watching some ice hockey practice and Christie absolutely howling with laughter at small children falling down (I will admit to a small giggle) we called it quits after my bruised knees and snore ankles decided it was time to go home.

Also, it wasn’t a bad view…

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