Today we woke up around 7 am and had breakfast at our hotel before heading off on a big day of sightseeing and experiencing. We traveled for almost 24 hours to get to Beijing, and we are all so happy to be here. We got on our bus right after breakfast, and started our day. During our drive, Lynn (our tour guide) told us many stories of the history of China and explained the importance of the tree within China. The roots of the tree are in Xi’an, the trunk is in Beijing, and the branches and leaves are in Shanghai. We were most certainly on our way to experience the trunk of the tree, a day packed with activities all over. Our first stop of the day was the Summer Palace. As we walked through, we became truly immersed in the culture of historical China. A popular favorite moment was dancing with the retired women in one of the squares of the Summer Palace. After we walked around the palace we got on our bus and headed to lunch. After lunch, we drove about an hour to the Great Wall.
The Great Wall was immediately intimidating just by looking at it and we were all amazed by the awesome work that was put into building such a structure. We walked up the many steps of the wall to the top of our section. The steps were very uneven and it was a difficult climb, but we all did our very best to complete it. It was a truly life-changing experience. When we left the Great Wall, we headed to the 2008 Olympic Park and walked through the incredible, architecturally-advanced buildings. It was absolutely amazing to see such a special place. We finished our busy day by having an amazing peking duck dinner at a restaurant in the city. We are all tired and ready for a good night’s sleep before our busy day at RDFZ tomorrow.