Saving my breath for the best views
Today we explored Beijing by heading to the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. The Summer Palace was situated around a giant lake.
Some of us wanted to rent a paddleboat, but we didn’t have enough time. We walked around the lake and viewed the different rooms that the royalty lived in.
It was similar to Qufu, with doors that had raised frames you had to walk over.
There was an area with a temple, but you had to pay to take the pathway to walk up to it. Despite that disappointment, walking around the lake was very peaceful.
At the end of the tour, we took a motorized dragon boat back the entrance.
After lunch we headed over to the Great Wall, which was about an hour away from the Summer Palace. I was always under the impression that the Great Wall consisted of long, flat surfaces with an occasional set of stairs, but I was wrong.
Climbing up the Great Wall in some ways was even worse than climbing up Mt. Taishan. Even though Mt. Taishan consisted of thousands of steps, the steps we had to climb today were much steeper and raised higher.
I walked about four watchtowers up, but then decided to take in the view since we only had two hours to explore. Even though I did not climb very far, the view was breathtaking. In some areas you could see the wall stretching out as far as the eye could see.
When we finished exploring the Great Wall, we ate at a buffet. It was interesting because they served westernized food, like some of us ate last night. I think it is because we are in Beijing and it is a very popular tourist area, but it is still surprising to see a fork.
I find it a little bit strange that we are eating more westernized food, but there are more hole-in-the-ground toilets than sit down ones.
— Katie Haughey, a junior psychology major