Andy Corzine —
Today was an eventful day in Beijing for us all!!
We started it out with the usual breakfast, but from there, it was anything but ordinary. We started it off with the longest public transit ride I have taken in China this far, about an hour and a half, and finally made it to our first destination: the Pearl Market. It’s only called the Pearl Market because of the giant oyster sitting outside the building. Inside however was four floors of vendors clamoring to get our attention. For the most part, we just looked around and had lunch in the canteen area, though some of us caved to the pressure of the merchants.
Afterwards, we went to the Temple of Heaven. I had seen photos online of the temple, but the paled in comparison to seeing it in person. We walked through the numerous gardens of the temple, ranging from groves of 800 year old trees to roses of every color. We then hiked the stairs to see the main temple, where many emperors came to offer sacrifices in order to receive good harvests during the year. The history and the architecture in these ancient buildings is awe-inspiring.
We then ended our day with a real treat: a Beijing acrobatics show. We all had heard or seen pictures of the Chinese acrobats that push the human body to its limits in order to perform for the masses, but I don’t think we ever thought we would get to see that in their hometown! It is incredible the talent of these young acrobats. We sat through the whole show in awe, and sometimes fear, as the performers did their routines.
All in all, it’s been a great day in Beijing and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.