we have completed our 'Great Wall' hike. After an early start yesterday we arrived in a Beijing to be transported to our campsite by the wall for one night. Fun, games, BBQ and bonfire finished of with toasting marshmallows. After a relatively early night... and early morning we woke today to breakfast and head off on our hike. The steep inclines followed by the steep descent challenged a fair few of the group but everyone succeeded and a wonderful morning was had by all.
Day 4. Last night the students were divided into groups and given money to go and explore Beijing local cuisine. Their task was to try out new dishes and feed themselves and the member of staff attached to their group. Excellent meals were had by all and a wonderful range of dishes sampled.
Today our students are cooking for everyone and have been to the local market to buy ingredients... I have to say I'm looking forward to the apple crumble which I was not expecting to be on the menu alongside Chinese dumplings, three cups chicken, cabbage salad with tofu skin and Thai pineapple rice to name a few!
Our chefs are working particularly hard after a long and somewhat tiring day exploring the sights of Beijing. A walk through the busy Tiananmen Square and the awe inspiring Forbidden city saw us end our morning with a relaxing picnic in Jingshan Park. In the park everyone was encouraged to walk to the highest point in order to view the imperial city from above ... a truly incredible sight!
A busy and fun packed day with dinner to follow shortly as our 42 chefs rush to beat the clock and have a meal fit for an emperor!
Day 5. Today everyone experienced a wide range of activities. After breakfast we walked the Hutongs until we arrived at the Temple of Earth. Here we all learnt and practiced the key elements of Qi Jong and joined the locals in their morning exercises dancing, practicing the diablo or Tai Chi. We certainly saw some impressive moves from students and locals alike. After a wonderful and extremely filling lunch at a Yunnan restaurant we walked to Hutong Headquarters where we split into three groups for the afternoon activities. Each group then rotated between different activities. One was a scavenger hunt around the Hutongs taking photos and chatting with locals, another was a sketching activity and the last activity was a tea art challenge. Everyone was introduced to a number of different tea ingredients and challenged to make their own tea blend. They had to design and brand their tea, listing ingredients and bagging it up to take away in order to enjoy later. This evening we are about to head off for our Beijing Duck dinner before going to enjoy the fantastic acrobat show!