A busy and memorable day in Beijing for the SJSU crew. We departed early in streaming rain to visit the Great Wall. Despite the gnarly weather, though, we had a lovely time. Students decided that the hanging mist added an air of mystery to the place, and shopping for souvenirs can be fun no matter the precipitation! Most of us climbed no further than the tenth sentry tower, though a hearty few made it even further up those steep, slippery steps.
Following lunch at a "Friendship Store," we headed back into town to visit the Summer Palace. The drizzle had subsided at this point, allowing for a leisurely stroll through ornate gardens and stunning monuments. A highlight was the Long Corridor alongside a lake: a chance to view detailed artistic renderings of beloved Chinese stories while listening to cheerful songs belted out by visiting schoolchildren. Best of all, we hired a dragon boat to carry us across the lake back to our starting point!
Another tasty meal (topped off by some American dessert from a McDonald's across the street) prepared us for our evening adventure: The Peking Opera. One humble blog post cannot possibly describe that particular experience; it's best to ask those who've been there to share their perceptions in person. Suffice to say that SJSU students ended an eventful day with enough culture to inspire conversations long after our return to the States.