In the early hours of November 13, 2009 a group of 30 or so members of the Semester at Sea community woke up at 4am to meet and head out to Beijing, China from Hong Kong.
We boarded our flight by 730am and were delayed due to weather, in my usual form as I do on airplanes, I immediately fell asleep and was only awaken by one of my colleagues a few rows away telling me to make sure I ate the meal they were about to serve since we would miss lunch due to us being late. Yes we were served a hot meal aboard this China Air flight, it was pretty good. We were about to be on a 4 day excursion to Beijing sponsored by Peking University. In the next 3 nights and 4 days we would visit the Summer Palace, the Ming Dynasty Tombs, the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven.
First stop the Summer Palace (in winter)
The Ming Dynasty Tombs,
where we had to come back through the gates and announce that we were back (among the living) so that our spirit would not remain with the dead. A superstition
The Forbidden City
I would also partake of some of the best Chinese food I have ever had (of course it’s the best since Im in China), though I am not a fan of Chinese food. Including the adventurous visit to Ghost street, (rightly named because the restaurants that line it are open into the wee hours of the morning) where we ate Hot Pot, literally a pot of soup that had everything in it including 4 whole frogs and was so spicy it made us sweat.
It would be a whirlwind tour and truly amazing. The only one of these visits that I will blog about separately is The Great Wall. For the rest I hope you enjoyed the pictures.