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The Wonders of Beijing

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I really can not believe all of the amazing things I did today! It was one of the coolest days ever! We started off the morning going to a market with a chef. The market was really cool, we got to see so many fresh vegetable some which I recognized and some that I did not. After the fruit section we headed off into the meat section. This turned my stomach a little bit but it was still really cool to see the fresh fish and how the local people shopped for their food. While walking out we passed some pastries which I made sure to take pictures of for annamarie :) After this we headed to a beautiful restaurant where we began cooking. My group began with the dumplings. These were much harder to make than they look. We filled the dumplings with leeks and egg. After we made the dumplings we went into the kitchen and made sweet and sour pork. It was so cool to be in a real kitchen in a restaurant and I felt like an actual chef in my jacket, hat, and apron. It was so much fun! I found it really cool that rather than a cutting board we used a slice of tree trunk! The food turned out great and was so much fun to eat. The chef also prepared so many other great dishes. My favorite was the lotus roots they were delicious and something I had never eaten before! After we finished a great lunch it was off to olympic village! I was so excited to go there:) we first showed up at the birds nest. It was a massive structure and I could not imagine what it mustve been like during the olympics filled with so many people. The birds nest was an incredible building, the entire time I was there I just kept thinking how much my dad would have loved it! The architecture and engineering was so cool and I think I took some good pictures to just try to capture how beautiful the building was! :) Our tour guide Riley called the birds nest the "Chines Coliseum" this made us all laugh. Next it was over to the water cube! This was something I was looking forward to! Last year when I saw Michael Phelps swim there I never imagined I would be able to go there! This building was huge! Just like the birds nest it was incredible! Something which I found really interesting is that now the water cube has become a theater! Now the ballet Swan Lake is performed there. It was decorated beautifully for the show and it was really cool how they turned everything used for swimming into such beautiful scenery, such as the diving platforms turned into rocks and flowers. These buildings were the highlight of the day! They truly were beautiful buildings. They were immense buildings, and when I asked Riley what was on the land before all of these buildings he told me that there were many farms. I can not imagine the city without all of these buildings and instead filled with farmland it mustve been a completely different city! Next we ventured to the 798 art galleries. These were a bunch of art galleries you could walk in and out of and some art which was displayed in the streets! It was very interesting and had many cool shops :) For dinner we had a western meal! It was very delicious and I enjoyed my panini very much! At dinner me, Cait,Katie , and Tiffany sat with Amanda a girl our age who has been going around with our tour group. It was so interesting to hear what her life is like in China compared to our life in America. She told us so many interesting things about her family, her friends, and school. We had such a good time eating with her and hearing all about her life! Once we got back to the hotel we packed for our camping trip! This is my first time camping and I am a little nervous but so so excited!


Karen Wells said...

Image that - using a tree trunk for a cutting board. Keep talking to the local people like Amanda. That is where you will make the best memories. Hope you enjoy the camping. Karen Wells DSA South Africa

Changing Connections said...

Isn't life interesting. One year ago you watched Michael Phelps and today you're here, walking in, as Katie said, the footsteps of history. I would love to hear your thoughts about what Amanda tells you. And honestly, I cannot imagine any other tour agency offering you the vast variety that Discovery packs into a thoughtfully planned and balanced day. Lucky you.

I really enjoy your blog posts.

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN Leadership Council Blog Coordinator

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 4th - 18th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture