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This past weekend I was able to journey to Beijing. It was a place I have always wanted to see because of the history surrounding the great city. But what a journey it was to get there. I had been on many interesting plane flights before- gate changes last minute, long repairs, even a plane having to land just after take-off because of a heart attack on board. At the Zhuhai airport, we saw our flight kept getting delayed and many earlier flights had been flat out canceled. We finally were able to board the plane, only to get off and on the plane two more times. In the end, our flight was delayed 12 hours, and we finally took off at 4:30am. I was unable to get more than sparse 30-minute sleep intervals on the plane, and when we finally landed in Beijing I was exhausted. I had no idea how I was going to keep my eyes open the rest of the day, never the less be able to experience and appreciate Beijing in its fullest. However, I soon was wide awake at the beauty the city gave.


After we had a brief trip to our hotel to drop off our bags, shower, and change our clothes, we were off to the Summer Palace. Somehow my group of students and I were able to navigate the Beijing subway- it was so clean and easy to understand! It is my new favorite subway in the world. We made it to the Summer Palace without taking a wrong train, and we entered the most beautiful place I had seen in my entire life. There was so much history around every corner, and it was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that a person once called this home. My favorite spot in the Summer Palace was a pond surrounded by willow trees. It was extremely peaceful and serene and I could have spent the entire rest of the day sitting in one spot and taking in the beauty.


The next day we visited the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall all in one day. The Temple of Heaven was extremely fun because the road where the emperor walked was where Hsiao Mei walked and all of the students stood on either side of her. I thought the architecture at the temple was one of a kind, and I was sure to take a lot of photos on my camera. The Great Wall in particular was something I had always wanted to see and climb because it is a world wonder. It is a dream of mine to see all of the world wonders, so I was anxious all day to get to the Great Wall. I thought the climb was going to be pretty long and miserable to be frank, but in reality it was not bad at all! I was with wonderful company and we played fun music to pump us all up. When we got to the top we took a lot of pictures of one another before it started to rain and bought “I climbed the Great Wall” t-shirts. All in all, Beijing was a once and a life time experience and I am determined to learn more Chinese and come back and visit Beijing. I would love to cycle down the Olympic cycling road one day!