Where to begin! It feels like forever since I blogged anything and sooo much has happened! The Great Wall, Summer Palace, traditional tea ceremonies, cloisonné factory shopping, food, shopping, more food! I guess I'll start with the Great Wall because at the moment its the first thing that came to mind.
We arrived at the Great Wall of China at Mutainyu. According to guidebooks and locals, this is by far the most beautiful section of the Great Wall that is easily accessible from Beijing. It was a two hour bus ride out to the location and then a 5-10 minute gondola ride to the top of the mountain where the wall is actually located. I will be uploading pictures when I am able to connect to the internet with my computer, but for now let me say that it was breathtaking. I don't mean that it was beautiful, which it clearly was, I mean that hiking up the steep sections of wall and then running down the other side only to climb on your hands and knees up the next slope is extremely tiring and we were all sweating like crazy. It was totally worth it though because we the views were spectacular, the people were friendly, and we got a Great Wall experience that was away from the tourist crowds at Badaling.
I dont' think I'll actually have time to delve into the other bits for now, because it is currently 3:26am and I need to be awake at 7. Wish me luck!
Tomorrow is the Temple of Heaven, Hot Pot, and the train ride to Tianjin. We will be in Tianjin for 2 weeks while we take our class, so I'm sure there will be plenty more stories to follow. All of this just as I was starting to feel at home in Beijing! I could spend months in this city and not get bored seeing all of the site. Oh and did I mention the highways have rose gardens that stretch for miles in the center median and the curbsides and that they are all in full bloom right now?!? I have never seen so many blooming flowers in one place in all my life!