Capital Steel Company
We joined the 7th graders on their field trip to the Capital Steel Company, where we got to wear fashionable yellow hard hats.
Beijing Sculpture Park
Clarissa and Julia at the Beijing Sculpture Garden
A beautiful day at the Beijing Sculpture Garden with host siblings.
A bronze statue of a lion in the Forbidden City. This lion is male, while the its pair (in the far left of the image) is female. The pearl under the lion's paw symbolizes wisdom; the female lion opposite it holds a baby instead of a pearl.
We left the City just as it was closing, and walked from the northern Inner Court all the way back to the southern Outer Court to go out a side exit. The walk back was a little eerie without the huge crowds that had been there earlier.
The huge open space of Tian'anmen Square, with Chairman Mao's Mausoleum and the Monument to the People's Heroes in the background (left to right, respectively).
We stopped a few times for brief photo shoots in Tian'anmen Square. In the background stands the imposing Tian'anmen ("Gate to Heavenly Peace"), which leads to the Forbidden City.
Qianmen Shopping Area
A small, enclosed path lined with stalls that Julia, Clarissa, and Mr. Crozier found in the Qianmen Shopping Area.
The Great Wall
Although the climb up was difficult, the view from the top of the Great Wall was worth the uneven steps and steep ramps.
The Great Wall winds off into the distance through the hills around Badaling, China. The "Long Wall" (长城), as it's called in Chinese, is over 20,000 kilometers long.
Besides our group, countless other tourists and sightseers walked the Great Wall that day.
Xi'an City Wall
During our first day in Xi'an, we biked 14 kilometers around the Xi'an City Wall.
We visited a school in Pangliu Village, which happened to be the school our tour guide, Charlie, had gone to as a kid. At the school, we introduced ourselves to a third grade English class and read a short dialogue.
Clarissa and Julia spoke English for the class so the students could hear native speakers.
Nan Luo Gu Xiang
The entrance to Nan Luo Gu Xiang was marked by an ornate gate, which displayed aspects of traditional Chinese architecture including bright colors and overhanging eaves.
Edmond carries a cup of passion fruit juice as he and Nathan shop in an anime figurine shop at Nan Luo Gu Xiang.
Drum Tower Show
After shopping in Nan Luo Gu Xiang, we walked over to the Drum Tower to watch a drum performance. Five musicians used wooden sticks to pound out earthshaking rythms on the old drums.
To get to the top of the Drum Tower, we had to scale this extremely steep stretch of stairs, reminding us of our trek on the Great Wall.
From the top of the Drum Tower we had a beautiful view of the Nan Luo Gu Xiang area of Beijing.
All of the American exchange students posed for a group photo in front of the lake at the Summer Palace.
We walked under many gates like this one at the Summer Palace, all displaying traditional styles of architecture.
A tour guide showed our group around the Palace, giving us interesting information on the area's former residents.
After lunch, some students took the opportunity to rent paddle-boats and sail around the lake.
The ornate gate of the Lama Temple has three main arches, and is roofed with yellow tiles similar to the ones in the Forbidden City.
The largest building in the temple complex, towering three stories above the ground, is the only one big enough to house this 18-meter statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Supported by an 8-meter deep foundation, the main part of the statue was carved out of a single piece of white sandalwood.