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September 19, 2017

By Tessa Ratzlaff

Today we enjoyed our last morning in Osaka, Japan, and then headed to the airport to fly to Beijing, China! Around 9:30am we boarded our plane, and three hours later we arrived in Beijing.

As soon as we landed, we hopped on a bus and headed straight to the Great Wall of China! The bus ride was an experience. There was quite a bit of honking, and there were many times we thought we might hit someone. But we made it! Because we were short on time, we took the cable car up to the top. The view was breathtaking. And to make it better, the skies were blue with no clouds in the sky. It couldn't have been a better day to visit the Great Wall! Phil Laird, who is the Vice Provost, TWU Extension, had visited the Great Wall in the past, and he said he couldn't believe how clear it was, and how crazy it was that we were able to see downtown Beijing from the Great Wall!

After enjoying our time on the wall, we had to make it back in time before the last cable car left. As we were gathering everyone together, we noticed that we were missing three girls. As a team we screamed, "come down!", and to our surprise they told us they actually heard us! We glanced into the distance, and there we saw three small dots running down the wall. Honestly, we didn't know if they were going to make it back in time. Luckily they made it back just in time, but you can imagine the kind of speech they received from Cheryl after that close call.

Once we all got back into the bus, we drove about two hours to our hotel in downtown Beijing. As soon as we arrived to our hotel we walked to the Silk Market for some shopping. This is where we got to pull out our bartering skills. It was quite the experience. Most of us were successful, and snagged some killer deals on things like shoes, sunglasses, purses and other brand clothing.

We walked back to the hotel without getting hit by any cars... traffic is a bit of a gong show here. It was an amazing day, and we are excited to experience more of China in the next few days!