Sunday, January 3, 2016

China Blog 1/2/16 - 1/3/16

Day 2 in Beijing, China was a success! We still have all 13 students and Kent and Cheryl seem to still like us all ;)
We had an early start to the day and drove to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall! After taking a chair lift to the wall we got a couple hours to explore. The stairs were laughably steep and the hike was long but the views were breathtaking and worth the (very) sore legs the next day! We estimated that we climbed to around 270 feet in elevation and a total of about 63 flights of stairs. But if getting to climb the Great Wall of China wasn't exciting enough, we got the opportunity to slide down it on toboggans! So much fun!

Climbing the Great Wall caused us to work up quite the appetite so we all headed to a local restaurant down the street for lunch! It was delicious; I think we all can say that the green beans were the best dish! We figured that the guys must have had enough of us girls for the morning because they all decided to sit at their own table! Ha! ;)

After lunch we headed to the 798 District to check out some local art! The area was very urban, reminding us of a place we might find in New York. After touring the art district we learned that (similar to America) the weirder the art, the better; we saw several interesting and unique statues, sculptures, paintings and photographs! We even found a store dedicated to cow art, "Cow Parade Park," which had several different statues of cows in a various costumes as well as the history of cattle!

Day 3 we got to visit the Summer Palace and the Capital Museum. The Summer Palace was gorgeous to walk around but very cold (we also couldn’t distinguish between the fog and smog)! It was pretty cool to see how the lake was frozen over in most parts; there were several people that were sledding and biking on the ice! We got another good workout in walking all the steps up to go see the thousand armed buddha at the top of the hill. The view was awesome at the top; you could see far out onto the lake! We couldn’t believe that people used to walk all around this place on a daily basis!

After a delicious lunch, we ended our day exploring the Capital Museum. The building was HUGE, full of history about both China and Beijing. Some of the coolest exhibits we got to see were the ceramic and jade art pieces, the timeline of China’s history compared to the rest of world, and the movie on the history of Beijing! The movie was a little hard to follow because it was narrated all in Chinese and we couldn’t read the English fast enough! It was fun to be in a building filled with so much history and interesting facts! We can’t wait to explore the rest of what China has to offer! :)

- Kat and Sydney :)

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