more pictures! just what you needed! (oooh! and video!)
Oh! And I forgot to mention nearly the most important thing about our trip. The fact that we came to Beijing during Lunar New Year (often times called CHINESE New Year) played a big part in our experience. The streets seemed nearly deserted when we got there...there was hardly any traffic on our way to Badaling. There were hardly any people walking in the streets...it was a bit eerie, but a nice change of pace from the ever-hectic Seoul.
And one of the coolest experiences (in my opinion, of course) that we had while there were the never-ending fireworks. I mean, come on people! China INVENTED gunpowder! Chinese fireworks? Hello? New Year's Eve, when we walked out of our duck dinner, we kind of wandered aimlessly and were surprised to find ourselves in a virtual war zone. Fireworks to the left of me! Fireworks to the right of me! They were constant, they were loud, and at times I was pretty sure I was going to lose some important part of my body. They were happening on sidewalks, on the street...sometimes traffic had to halt due to some old Chinese man lighting a roman candle in the middle of the road. It was pretty great, actually.
Yuck...is that MY voice?
But they didn't stop there...they went on. And on. And on. At the precise moment of the New Year, the entire skyline was lit up with fireworks. It was...amazing. Fourth of July? Pssh....please! These people take their fireworks very seriously.
Sorry about the reflection...they woke me up and I didn't have enough sense to turn off the lights.
The second night, they petered out but didn't stop. By the time we were woken up at 5 am by fireworks in the parking lot, it just seemed annoying.
Beijing Opera House at night
The streets were littered with firework carnage.
And...I think we'll do one more post about China. Shall we? Surely.