This past week, Kirstie and I visited Beijing with Lu from the YMCA/YWCA. We were so busy while we were there, but it was well worth it. When we first arrived in Beijing, we went to our hotel and got our rooms, then Lu took us to a restaurant in the hotel and we got three different types of dumplings. Kirstie and I both dipped them in some kind of hot sauce and it was amazing. After we ate, we met up with Lu’s friend Dong and another girl named Song, who I believe was Dong’s girlfriend. They both joined us for dinner that night at McDonald’s (yes, it’s true, they’re everywhere) before setting off to explore the city. We went to see Tiananmen Square at night and it was beautiful all lit up. We saw so many amazing things in Beijing. In addition to Tiananmen Square, we also got to see the Great Wall as well as the Forbidden City.
On Thursday, Kirstie and I went to the Great Wall with Lu and Dong and it was a blast, despite being extremely cold. This was even with ear muffs, a face mask, and a hat we bought with “The Great Wall” stitched on it in both English and Chinese. We were able to take a ton of pictures, which we can’t wait to show all of our friends and family back home!
There were a lot of steep stairs on the Great Wall and it was very tiring walking up just one portion of it, so I can’t even imagine trying to walk the entire thing (especially considering that recent estimates put it at over 13,000 miles long). I really don’t think I could make it all the way to the end. We enjoyed ourselves though, and it was definitely the experience of a lifetime. Kirstie and I bought t-shirts with “I Have Climbed the Great Wall” written on them. I also bought a metal with the same boast on it for myself and my boyfriend, though that was before realizing what it said. Looks like he’s climbed the Great Wall too, now.
We also visited Tiananmen Square and saw the large monument that stands in the middle of it. After we walked around Tiananmen Square for a little while, we then went to visit the Forbidden City. It was amazing! All of the buildings were so creative and the designs on the buildings and their ceilings were incredible. We got to see different artifacts in little museum-type buildings, which was very interesting. When we got to a certain part of the Forbidden City, there was a creek that people threw money into while they made a wish, like we do when we see a fountain.
Beijing was one of the most amazing places I have ever been. The sites were amazing and there was just so much to see and do. I definitely plan to go back to Beijing, though preferably when it’s a little warmer. We really enjoyed our time there, and we were especially glad to be there with Lu and Dong. They were both very fun to be around and they always made sure we had what we needed to begin our day. The fact that we all had to say goodbye to Dong when we left on Friday was really sad because he helped us out so much. He’s also Lu’s best friend, and they don’t get to see each other much, so it was difficult for him to leave as well. Overall though, Beijing was amazing and I hope to someday make it back.
Our time in China is quickly coming to an end. I’m really beginning to realize how much I will miss everyone who has helped us during our journey here. That said, I’m ready to be back home. Although sometimes it got a little rough, the Y staff and the people in English Corner always knew how to make us happy again. Till next time!