We allowed ourselves an extra day in Beijing following the completion of our tour, so we broke out from our cocooned tour status to check out some parts of Beijing.
Our first activity was to investigate the Metro. How easy! Since the fare to anywhere is a flat 2 yuan, and few of the ticket machines seem to work, all you have to do is to front to the ticket window with your money, and away you go. The biggest "problem" is working out where the stations are. The system is being expanded at such a rate that the most recent map I could locate whch showed a few lines as being "under construction" was the most reliable! (Of course, there are easy to use ande up-to-date maps at all stations and even on the tickets, although you don't get to keep these as they're gobbled up as you exit).
We headed off the the central shopping precinct of Wangfujing which has a variety of shops, ranging from the very up-market Oriental Mall down.
We then headed off to the Drum and Bell Towers area (near Gulou station), pausing for a pizza and beer in a casual establishment. Great pizza, and a welcome change from our recent diet. We then wandered around the area, especially the busy more-traditional shopping precinct in the area to the east of the Drum Tower, before locating another Metro station and heading off back to the hotel late in the afternoon, after lots of walking, with plans to spend the evening getting ready for our departure in the morning.