Day 1: Beijing

We departed July 6th, which was a day earlier than previously planned because SOMEONE bought the wrong tickets. Whoops! It wasn’t no thing. We hit that sweet sweet fast train all the way into everyone’s favorite Chinese capital city of Beijing.

Allow me take a moment to teach you a little bit of the Mandarin I’ve been learning. 北 is běi and it means “north”. 京 is jīng and it means “capital”.

When we arrived 5 hours later we headed out to the Temple of Heaven. It was a beautiful park, and like everything in China filled to the brim with people. While normally this is a little aggravating, in this instance in was great. There were large groups of people, mostly elderly, playing musical instruments and assembling 20+ person choir to perform traditional Chinese songs together. We explored some more of the park and I learned that people have been worshipping Heaven in China since the 26th Century BC. That’s bananas!

We headed to the hútòng district near a few lakes in the middle of the city. We weaved through some alleyways and endured a whole row of the same bar that featured cold drinks, good food and, most prominently, a single dude or girl crooning some Chinese pop song while playing a guitar amplified to 11. What.

We met up with Katie and her sister who suggested this banging pizza joint named Hútòng Pizza. Pizza isn’t the same as home, but isn’t bad either!
Destroyed from walking so much at the Temple of Heaven and through the hútòngs, we came home and slept hard.

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