The first day in Beijing

Welcome to Beijing, faithful blog followers!
After our ten hour long, overnight train from Shanghai, we found our hotel and traveled to the Forbidden City. Pictures of Mao Tse Tung hung from buildings, were printed on t-shirts and mugs, and covered pamphlets to remind us of the revolution and the new order of China. What moved us most, though, was the rich history of the dynasties that came before China as we now know it. We have continually been amazed at the length and depth of China's history; it makes America look like only a newborn. The Forbidden City was absolutely massive, with its different gates, meeting places, slave quarters, concubine housing, and elaborate gardens. Though still only a dim picture, our understanding of the grandeur of the lives of the emperors and empresses is much clearer.
After an informative tour of the City, we went across the street to Tian'anmen Square. This is the site of a great democratic movement that took place, so this experience served to both enlighten and sober us.
Throughout this stimulating day (and every day so far), an amusingly large number of people were snapping pictures of us, and if they were really bold, they asked to pose with us. Who knew we signed up to learn celebrity culture too? Tomorrow it is off to the Great Wall! What a privilege! We are learning so much about ourselves, the idea of culture, China, the bigness of our God, and the importance of not just learning about things from a textbook, but getting the real life experience. Tata for now! - Joy

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