The plan was for the students to write a daily blog… update on the things we have been doing, sights we have been seeing and the food we’ve been eating. We hadn’t counted on tiring them out so much by 8pm on day one that they have all gone to bed. So todays blog entry is from the staff who are holding in there… just about.
After an early 5:15 arrival at school and over 20 hours travelling we arrived in Beijing to sunshine and headed straight to our first destination, The Temple of Heaven. The first stop was the communal outdoor gym, where young and old were exercising together. We caused a bit of a stir, and were treated like celebrities as local people queued to have ‘selfies’ with us. It was great to see the community spirit, from Matchmaker corner to gossip corner and the street performers and groups sitting together making music and playing games. We were able to see the amazing temple itself, and learnt a lot about Chinese culture and beliefs.
On to the food! After our walk we were all ready for lunch. We were given our own private room in a local restaurant where everyone enjoyed getting to grips with chopsticks whilst waiting for the food. Once the food started it never stopped! The main ingredient on offer was duck however there was no shortage of beef, pork, chicken, rice, greens, dumplings and noodles. Everyone agreed the food was amazing and we think it’s safe to say hunger is not going to be an issue on this trip!
After a short comfort break at the hotel – bag drop and shower, we headed out for a cultural extravaganza! An acrobatic performance which was absolutely stunning and somewhat terrifying at times. No health and safety regulations obvious here. The finale involved 6 motorcycles in a wire ‘wall of death’. The noise of the engines, the flashing lights and the sound of the horns meant we were all on tenderhooks to ensure they all exited safely. A real authentic experience.
Then there was more food..dumplings, rice and sweet and sour pork. After that pleashhhyhh for bed. Never has an entrance lobby of a hotel emptied so fast by 26 teenagers heading to bed at 8pm without a whimper.
So here ends day 1..tomorrow we’re off to the Great Wall!!