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Xmas in China - Near Beijing

Written on: Thursday March 19th, 2009

A journal entry from: Japan

Slowly getting caught up again? Here's the beginning of the trip to China I took with Kelly over the Christmas – New Years' vacation. We did it the easy, lazy way, and the places we went were all major tourist attractions – but that doesn't mean they weren't great.

First, Beijing. The first place we went was Tiananmen Square. It was hard to describe how it made me feel to be there in person. I think it was greyer and blanker than I would have expected. Much more concrete. I also hadn't realized until then that Mao's mausoleum was right there, too. I did go inside and see his body lying in the glass case.  I have a feeling it's not at all really him. It looked like a waxwork. After that, we went to the Forbidden City. The buildings were all interesting, of course, but what was really striking was simply how huge it was – it really was the size of a small town.  Another day, we also visited the Summer Palace of the old emperors, which was much more appealing to me, even though it was winter, and the gardens were pretty bare.

 

Christmas Day was great. We went out to see the Great Wall, at Badaling. Out in the mountains, the wall was a steep climb, and I was completely content to be spending my day there. It was cold and windy, but I didn't mind. I loved it.