Day 1 and 2.
What a big two days.
Day 1 started with the bus ride down to Melbourne with many excited students. We arrived to huge lines at the Air China check in, but once through there it was nice and quick getting through customs. Whilst we had a slight delay getting off the ground, it was nothing compared to the annoyed Jetstar travellers off to Honolulu who were delayed 7hrs.
The flight was smooth with varying levels of sleep amongst the staff and students. It didn’t feel like it had taken 11 1/2hrs. We landed and caught a bus into the terminal. Soon we were navigating our way through Chinese customs. The airport felt huge and we even had to catch a train to another terminal to collect our luggage.
We were finally on the road to our hotel and the one thing that stood out was how much greener Beijing was than Shanghai. As with the Shanghai, the traffic was intense. We arrived at our hotel and the kids were impressed. They were even more impressed when they got to breakfast. There was a wide variety of foods and they even managed to find ice creams!
Soon we were at Tiananmen Square. The security there was very visible. The students were doing a fantastic job, especially considering it was 37 degrees. From here we walk through to the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City stretched 1km and was quite amazing. The attention to detail was breathtaking. Our guide Jerry, did a good job trying to explain some of the history.
After a traditional lunch we were off on Rikshaws around the Hutong, an old, traditional part of Beijing. The streets were tight and full of locals who were working on the houses. The Rikshaw riders did well carting us around. Soon were at one of the traditional houses for Calligraphy and paper cutting lesson.
Dinner was next and again it was fantastic, the highlight being Peking Duck. We were soon back at the hotel and it didn’t take long to get the students off to bed. Tomorrow, The Great Wall of China