Welcome to Beijing ~ 北京欢迎你

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北京欢迎你 (Beijing Welcomes You – 2008 Olympic Song)

We arrived to Beijing on the 10th of January after a terribly long 13 hour flight. It was around evening and the Beijing airport was glimmering with lights – interior and exterior.

This is a belated post because WordPress is blocked in China (why??!)

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After a sleepless night, a beautiful and plentiful breakfast (of steamed sweet potatoes, egg bread, and pumpkin congee) and an also delicious lunch of Beijing noodles proved to be a lighthouse in the midst of a storm.IMG_2078

Adding an egg makes the perfect addition! The noodles and soup were delicious and the portion size was ridiculously huge. I think i finished only 1/5th of the bowl ahh…. We also had pickled vegetables on the side – the picked cucumbers worked wonderfully with the taste of the soup. IMG_2085

Then we headed to the Temple of Heaven, a gorgeous arena with a cold winter aura and a distant feeling of emptiness despite the crowds it had drawn.

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The new and the old blended into one mixtape: the senior citizens coating the outer benches with their stacks of cards and mahjong and then the shadow of Beijing’s city buildings, ominously creeping out from behind.  IMG_2115

Instantly, I became nostalgic for the vibrant colors of the ancient Chinese dramas that I had binged watched during the hot summer.

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The worn texture of the temple, marking its age, history, and persisting beauty. IMG_2122

 

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(left picture – Crowds of people peek into a temple) (right – sunlight hits the temple at an angle) IMG_2137

the temple gave off a cold aura – white skies, white stairs ….IMG_2147IMG_2153

Upon exiting the main part of the temple, we were promptly greeted by even more people. No surprise and all of course!IMG_2156

One of the trees we came off was dubbed the Pregnancy tree and hopeful mothers were encouraged to touch it for fertility

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Passing Tienanmen Square on our bus. IMG_2218

Our last stop was the Liu Li Chang culture street, renowned for its history of calligraphy and art shops.

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Trinkets! (left – imitations of old chinese coins) (right – old Mao badges)

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Sugar-coated hawthorn berries on a stick! These make me nostalgic – when i was younger, my parents use to buy these for me on the street. At that time, I had no idea what i was eating but had longed for it since.

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