By Claude Owen
Today was an eventful and tiring day. We started off the day with breakfast from a street vendor that was some of the most delicious food I have had so far on this trip. It had some sort of salty sauce spread over an egg and some peppers wrapped up in a bun. After eating, we got on the subway for a long trip to the bus stop. After about an hour, and two subway switches, we arrived at the bus stop for the last portion of our little adventure, heading up a mountain. The hiking was dreadful, and was by far the most tired that I have been throughout the entire china trip, much more than the end of the Great Wall. But man was the view worth it. The entire population of Australia in 7,000 square miles.
During the hike, we visited the villa that Mao lived in while waging war with the Nationalist party. It was a beautiful house, with a koi pond and nice trees, but the peaceful nature of it was offset by the bomb shelter that was hidden just behind a hill. The contrast between the warlike nature of the bomb shelter and the peacefulness of the area it was in was kind of weird. Either way though, the mountain and all of its views were absolutely stunning.
After the hike, we took a chairlift down, which provided another amazing view on the city. After that, it was back to the subway, which we took to visit a lake in Beijing, called Hou Hai, which was originally built as part of the irrigation system of the Forbidden City. There we walked around, seeing the clusters of people, the fishermen and the dragon boats. It was crazy busy, and once again showed just how many people lived in Beijing. After that, we took the subway back to the apartment, and went out for a noodle dinner. All in all, today has been a pretty sweet day, and one of my favorite on this trip.