Day 1, the group arrived in Beijing and hit the ground running. We continued running, ‘literally' behind the constantly waving flag of our guide Harry! A sight we learned to keep a close eye on in the extremely crowded places we visited!
We were also warmly welcomed with our first Chinese meal. This meal helped us to acclimate to the custom that each meal began with hot green tea and the end being signaled by the arrival of melon!
After lunch we visited the Temple of Heaven and discovered the amazing park where many people gathered both in the morning and the evenings. It was a fascinating sight to see the varied activities: singing, playing games, exercising, practicing Taiji, dancing! The atmosphere was almost like a village festival, and yet this was the end of an average working day. We felt very comfortable joining in the activates.
“My first meeting with the Chinese on their own turf carried a surprise, for here I met people with their arms stretched out towards the heaven at any hour of the day. I heard powerful shouts of ”huu” in the park, and who cares whether you walk backwards on the street? At last a culture in which I did not stick out when I let my qi flow freely.” Tone Mari