” Ni Hao” from China! After 13 hours of flying we touched down in the capital of China, Beijing. We made our way through customs and met our ambitious tour guides Jesse and Lynn at 5:30 a.m. January 7th.
To kick off the day, we started our tours at Tiananmen Square. This is the largest city center square in the world. It was there we took our first group photo and interacted with locals. Next we took a walk through the Forbidden city. This is home to Chinese emperors from the last 500 years. We viewed places where emperors lived, celebrated, spoke to commoners and where they handled international affairs. We had the opportunity enjoy our first traditional Chinese meal. The group split into different tables and passed around dishes family style.
After lunch, we checked into our hotel and enjoyed a small amount of personal time to refresh from our long flight and morning tours. After the break, we moved to our next tour at the “Temple of Heaven”. This is where emperors of the Dynasties prayed for a good harvest and the overall well being of the people of China, the temple was built in 1420. Today local people are now allowed to gather at the temple for morning exercises and stay throughout the day to sing, dance and socialize. Last of the day but certainly not least we enjoyed a “Peking Duck Dinner”. As our tour guides say “a trip to China would not be complete with out a Peking Dinner.” In addition to family style dishes, the chefs came out to carve the duck for our group. After we gathered back on the bus and had a short debriefing, we were able to see the city come alive at night with all of the buildings colorfully lit. We dispersed to our rooms for some much needed rest after a long but wonderful day!
Lee Letsch- Group Leader
Dani – Virginia
Surey- Puerto Rico