Sunday 13 October 2019

Day 2 - Beijing

Yesterday we arrived in Beijing airport at 10:40pm China time (1:10am Adelaide time). It took a while for us to find all the luggage, but we eventually did and started the journey to our hotel. We got to the hotel at around 12:30, stumbled into our rooms and promptly fell asleep. 

The next day  we woke up relatively early and ate a hearty breakfast of dumplings, samosas, cabbage and other Chinese food. At around 8:30am, we left the hotel and commenced the 90 minute ride to Tiananmen Square. The square was extremely crowded and we almost lost the tour guide about a hundred times, but we had fun learning about the emperor’s body and the meaning of various sculptures scattered across the square. 

After that, the group crossed the road and entered the outskirts of the forbidden city. We talked about the significance of the number 9 and the colour yellow in relation to the emperor. We also learnt about the different gates (that the most powerful thing is the only thing allowed through the middle gate, in this case the emperor) and rooms in the palace (that there  were 999 rooms altogether, but some of them have been destroyed by fires and cause by various scenarios). It was a long walk, but we eventually reached the garden where we climbed JingShan showing us a small part of the huge city. 

After this, we had lunch and did a bit of shopping, during which the Pedare old scholar, Sophie Szabo, joined us and gave us tips on eating with chopsticks, and shopping/bargaining. Later, we went to the Temple of Heaven and learned about the prayers done by the emperor to the heavens. We tried out the three forms of echo in the grounds finding that each could be heard even if only faintly.

The walk through the gardens was enjoyable and calming after the tough day of walking and prepared the group for the delicious dinner that was provided. Finally we finished dinner and left to go see a kungfu show. A pair of dancers  showed brilliant chemistry through performing amazing lift and partner work. The show was brilliant and informative giving us information about an old Chinese legend. 

At the end of the night, we returned to the hotel tired and ready to have a nice long sleep before we had to wake up early the next morning. (Hannah Szabo)

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