Ever-changing yet stuck in time, Beijing the Magnificent.

China

by Marianna F.

I had never been to China before, and obviously I realized that visiting one city would not allow me to see the full picture, but at least this first trip would give me one piece of the puzzle. In my case, my first taste of China had a Beijinger flavor to it. Immediately one feels that indeed, it is among the world’s most populous cities. Visually, you can sense the “largeness” of the city. There are people everywhere. The traffic lives up to its reputation. The roads are wide and the buildings are tall and many.

However these vast spaces of Beijing fascinated me. I was constantly left in awe realizing that past and present live side by side here. Everywhere I went, I could clearly feel the desire to move forward (maybe too quickly?) yet maintaining time-honored traditions. It is an indescribable feeling to be blown away by a world wonder, the Great Wall of China, to then only be impressed by the much more recent National Stadium- known as “The Birds Nest”.

The culture is unique and rich- worth experiencing and understanding. And certainly, the people deserve full credit for their warmth and charming hospitality. Each landmark speaks volumes, with repetitive red walls reminding one of the country’s unique history. On a more local level, wandering through the hutongs or the vibrant street markets are a must: captivating details are in every corner and there is something new to learn with each step… perhaps some ripe, Asian wisdom that has prevailed and seemingly will continue to do so…

If I was going to endure a plane flight of over twelve hours, I sure was hoping to be transported. Beijing did just that- and wonderfully well!

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