The PacRim 2004 voyage is now over. Most blogs start with now and scrolling down takes you further into the past. We've reversed the order here so you can read from the beginning to the end. Or click on the categories to the left to skip directly to what you're interested in.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Temple of Heaven

imageOn Sunday September 4th we left for the Temple of heaven. This is a very special place for the Chinese people.  There is a huge park where every weekend there are people getting together playing games, singing, doing some type of judo, or just sitting and pondering.  There are three temples in this park. One of the templtes, the temple of Heaven, is a very beautiful place with a lot of Chinese heritage.image

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Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera:
Monday night we went to a traditional Chinese opera. There were two (opera’s) in the night show. One of the shows had a very funny old boatman who was helping out a princess get to her scholar who was on another boat.
The other story was about a scholar who fell in love with a nymph and they ended up getting married. The other nymph’s didn’t like this so they started a war with the nymph and the scholar. There were a lot of flips and jumping around like the old Jet Lee movies. Even though we had no idea what the actors were saying we understood what was going on.
(I will post photos when I find someone who took some.)

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Fragrant Hill:

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Fragrant Hill is not a hill but a mountain. Fred (our tour guide) told us that every year elderly Chinese men and woman climb to the top of this mountain to prove that they are still young. Fragrant Hill has 2200 steps to the top. It is not an easy climb, but once you get to the top, you see the entire city of Beijing and how large it really is.
Jacob Barnes said, “The name of the hill should be changed to ‘The mountain of beauty and pain.‘”

At the top we sat and took it all in for about an hour, then we ran down the 2200 steps to the bottom. We all enjoyed this trip to the top of Fragrant Hill.
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Chinese Courtyard:

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Our last scheduled event in Beijing was a trip to a Traditional Chinese courtyard. This courtyard was very beautiful and large. While there, I just sat and took in the beauty of this place and could hardly believe how old it is. In this courtyard there was a large duck pond with orange goldfish, many buildings, and a huge rock formation (that you could climb). It reminded me a lot of the Chinese garden in Portland OR- but this one is a few hundred years old and actually in China. imageimage
(Special Thanks to Kent for all the photos on this blog)

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Goodbye Beijing and all our new friends:

It was a sad day on the 11th of September, because it was time to say goodbye to Capital Normal University.

The university was an awesome place for us to stay and learn about the Chinese culture. Thank you too all the professors and staff for making our stay at Capital Normal a very memorable experience.
A special thank you to our friend, Fred, (tour guide) who made Beijing come alive and who went above and beyond the call of his duty. Beijing would have not been the same with out him. So, thanks for everything Fred.

We also made a lot of friends with people from Europe and the US. To all of you- it was nice to have people to talk to and also to help us get around town. Thank you everyone for making Beijing a great first stop on our busy semester studying abroad.

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(Leia, Mckayla and their new friend Theresa (US) and Sarah (UK)

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The Largest Dam in the world:

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This trip the Three Gorge Dam Project was a really awesome experience, because, as with the Great Wall, it fulfilled a dream of mine - to see this project.

Unfortunately, this dam is causing 1.3 million people to relocate and destroying a lot of Chinese heritage in the process. On the other hand, it is going to alleviate the electricity shortage for the growing Chinese economy and also control the Yangtze flooding problems. When it is completed, it will be the largest dam in the world. I was truly amazed at the size of the project.
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