Plus3 China Day 1

IMG_4102Coming in to Beijing, I had no idea what to expect. One of the first things I noticed was how big the city actually was. Unlike the clearly defined borders of downtown Pittsburgh, the city seemed to go endlessly in all directions. Fighting the powerful desire to immediately sleep, we went out to eat dinner, and later walk around the neighborhood. I was struck by how quiet the surroundings seemed. With a population of over 20 million, I expected the streets to constantly be flooded by honking traffic and pedestrians, but rather I found almost no cars and few people on the sidewalks. However, after looking out the window the following morning, the activity matched what I had expected. Glad to have avoided jetlag, I was excited to travel to the Great Wall. While the bus ride there was long, I enjoyed being able to look at the Chinese landscape on the way. The Great Wall itself was quite surreal. I had learned so much about the Great Wall in the States, but seeing it in person was very different. The views from the wall were magnificent, and it was amazing to see how the work of people from so many years ago has survived into the modern era. In the next few days, I hope to travel outside the area around our hotel and fully experience Chinese culture. I am especially looking forward to visiting the market centers. Since most of the stores surrounding the hotel are commonly found in America, I have not seen many differences. Thus far, I have loved my stay in Beijing, and I expect the coming days to only reaffirm this.

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