After an emotional last day of teaching (which you can read about in the post above) we all packed up and headed to the bus station to catch our sleeper bus to Beijing. I love traveling by sleeper bus! I wish we had them in the states:
We got into Beijing the next morning at 5:30 AM. We couldn't check into our hostel, so we just dropped out stuff off, caught the metro and then explored Tiana'men Square. IT IS HUGE! It's the largest public square in the world!
Being American in China automatically puts us to minor celebrity status. We were stopped and asked if we could take photos with different groups and families easily 15 times.
This is the People's Monument in Tian'amen Square.
Later, we got to wander around the Forbidden City! We even got in for 20 RMB instead of 60 because we showed them our student ID. WOO! The Forbidden City is HUGE! It was really cool to see, but we were really tired from all of the walking and without having a tour guide, a lot of the stuff looked the same by the end of the day. It was still really cool to see, though! SO much history.
The next day, we took a bus through our hostel to THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA! The part that we went to isn't restored, so there are almost no tourists or hawkers on it. It was so cool to be on a REAL part of the Great Wall! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't that great so we didn't get to see the whole expanse of it, but I still hiked up it. IT was SO steep and quite the accomplishment for me and my knee, but worth it!
I AM A SURVIVOR! AND I STOOD ON TOP OF THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!
Cyndi and I walked down together and suffered from super shaky legs.
The next day, we spent all day at the Silk Street and Pearl Market. Six floors of shopping, shopping and more shopping! We had a bit of a stressful time getting back to the bus station (we had a hard time catching a cab and ended up having to take the metro) but once we got on, we all slept soundly on our way back to Weihai.
It was a quick and exhausting trip, but so much fun!