After Xi’an, some of the students decided to travel to the capital of China, Beijing. Traveling to Beijing was a whole experience. Our way began on the slow train. For many of us, it was the first time traveling in a slow train at night. Nevertheless, we were not expecting a fancy train or being comfortable because we bought the “hard sleeper seat” tickets… Pretty explicit right?
We really went with low expectations, but we just wanted to go to Beijing no matter what. Turned out that we did not have seats, we had small beds!! Yeah! B-E-D-S! It was a kind of bunks like military style with other six people. At first, we were really surprised and shocked. I mean, yeah cool bunks, but we were going to sleep with people we did not know. It took us a few minutes to get over of that fact and realize the people on the train were nice. It was mostly old people traveling. Apparently, we were the only foreigners. We adjusted our luggage and lied down on the beds. We really liked it and after a while, we were laughing, eating and trying to speak Chinese with the old ladies by our sides. Really a nice experience to repeat.
Arriving at the hotel was another adventure. The train stop was a little far from our hostel, so we had to walk for a while. We went into these alleyways that reminded Kat and me of the streets of Ecuador and Peru. Narrow streets with a curved path. We were really scared for a while because, you know, we were 6 college students with their bags walking in a city they do not know in a very lonely area… we were just praying to arrive at our hostel ha-ha.
After 15 minutes, we arrived at this really nice hostel with a European style, where we booked a room for six people (the cheaper one). We weren’t looking for an extravagant room or something like that, but we got a really comfy room and private bunks to sleep. The room did not even use a key, but a passcode to open it. HOWWW COOL!! (Fun fact: we asked for the code several times because we kept losing the little paper with the instructions. Never trust young people with codes!)
Sunday, we visited Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Tian’anmen Square, and Summer Palace. The day was really cold and windy. It was difficult to take good pictures, but we enjoyed it a lot. We walked for almost 10 hours and were exhausted at the end of the tour. Anyway, we rested couple hours and went out to eat this famous roast duck of Beijing. It was delicious!
Next day, we traveled to the Great Wall, our highlight for that day. Being a child in Ecuador, I have never imagined that I would have had the opportunity to visit such a cultural and historical patrimony. It was really a dream come true and a thing to cross out from the “things to do before I die” list. We took tons of pictures and walked from the bottom to the top of the wall. We were just so glad to have the opportunity to be there and enjoyed until the last minute.
Even though, we really enjoyed our stay in Beijing and Xi’an, we missed home so much. By home, I mean Chengdu. We were missing our kind neighborhood, our beds, the people from the center and our second mother Michelle! Definitely, it is good to be back in Chengdu, our new home!