January 7th

As many students remarked during a well deserved dinner, this day was one of the busiest we had in weeks, or even months!

We started our day off with a buffet style breakfast at our hotel, the Holiday Inn Beijing. We left for the Temple of Heaven at 8am to get an early jump on a long day of sightseeing!
The Temple of Heaven was built for the emperor to pray and hold prayer ceremonies. Amazingly, though the huge construction is made entirely of wood, it contains not a single nail! All of the wooden pieces are just interlocking! Take a look:

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Next, we left for the famous Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public city square. There, we saw many Chinese national landmarks, including the national museum, the hero’s memorial, the building where Chairman Mao is buried, and the grand entrance to the Forbidden City.

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We then got a tour of the Forbidden City from our tour guides! This was an awesome experience, and we took many pictures! There was so much history and culture to learn about! It really makes you think about where our country fits on a relative time scale!

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As our tour guide so eloquently put it after 2 hours of walking, we needed “to recharge our energy,” and we went for lunch. Following lunch, we traveled to Beijing Wuzi University, were we had a brief rehearsal and a performance! This performance was a concert exchange with a local professional jazz band, it it was great to get to experience some of Beijing’s music too! Check out the performance venue:

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Some of our students even go to sit in on the jazz band’s last chart and share some solos with the pros! It was a great experience for all!

Following the concert, we traveled across town for a reception planned and hosted by Gettysburg College. It was a gathering for us and friends and family of Gettysburg College and its students that live in the area. We have many international students at Gettysburg, and this was a wonderful networking opportunity for the college. Students and faculty intermingled with the attendees, and a speech from President Riggs rounded off the evening.

We headed out to a late dinner following the reception, then went back to the hotel for the evening. It was a long and weary day, but it is so great that we got to see all of the sights that we have seen so far!

Tomorrow is another day of sight seeing, highlighted by a trip to the Great Wall of China! Stay tuned!

To see all of today’s pictures, check out our flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/113489266@N06/sets/72157639522859434/

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