Nathan Hu (’19) describes the group’s final day in Watertown, as well as the sites, tastes, and lessons as they made their way to Beijing.
After a very comfortable night at the WTown Hotel, we ate at a second large breakfast buffet. This one had an even greater assortment of Chinese food with a variety of fruits, dumplings, noodles, drinks, vegetable dishes and pastries for us to pick from to begin our day. The highlights of this meal included musk melon, warm soy bean milk, bean paste dumplings, small noodle bowls, and fresh juices. Everyone was ready to go out and explore China for another day!
Following our meal, we had a couple hours to go out and explore the surrounding area of WTown around the hotel. After quickly packing for our return to the city, we headed out to the plethora of shops and restaurants that awaited us. As we darted to and from storefronts in the early morning drizzles, we were treated to the sights and smells of food and art. A hawthorn berry store attracted our attention, but none of us were bold enough to try the sour hawthorn kebab snack. Walking down the streets near the river allowed some to see the dragon festival drum practice as they floated down in preparation. Everyone enjoyed the amazing food and cool architecture we experienced near the Great Wall. As a first stop on our journey, we couldn’t have asked for more.
We quickly packed our bags onto the bus and readied ourselves for the three hour bus ride to downtown Beijing. Our tour guide, Tian Laoshi, gave us some more history of the Great Wall and the upcoming Dragon Boat Festivals as we drove through the beautiful mountains and fields that surround the city. When we entered the outermost ring of the city, Tian Laoshi began to give us a little bit of history with regard to Beijing and the road rings that surround thebcity. The 6 rings have each been added as the city expands and a 7th is currently under construction. Our upcoming arrival at Shiyan High School was exciting.
A Shiyan teacher came out to greet us and help us settle into our rooms before we ate dinner prepared by their dining hall staff. After this meal we headed into the surrounding area to explore Beijing. We stopped at a shopping mall, Joy City, with a variety of shops as well as more food at the bottom level. The cool temperatures will hopefully stay as we start our weeks of school. Everyone is excited to keep exploring after our first glimpses of the city of Beijing.