Jan 8th 2012
The following morning I dropped my belongings off at the flat with Jasmine, and my and Cindy made our way to our first destination. Tian’anmen Square, a huge open space with a distinct quietness. Fog coated the ground as we made our way into the Forbidden City an ancient city belonging to the Emperor and his associates.
Probably the most beautiful part of the city was the garden of the dragon lady, one of the late emperor’s mothers, who ruled over china for a time as her son was only three years old.
(Jiaotu one of the 9 sons of the dragon)
After a traditional Chinese meal of sliced beef, cabbage and rice we went to the Beijing silk factory, where I met some incredibly talented crafts people. I bought some lovely paintings from a man who paints just using his hands and a hand-made silk purse for my sister.
We were then taken to the Temple of Heaven, an incredible monument of epic proportions.
As we left the gardens Cindy took me to the local tea house, where I was introduced to several Chinese teas. The first of which; Oolong Tea, was so nice that I bought a tin. The shop owner very kindly threw in another tin for free because I was a student.
I was then transported back to Gamma’s flat where I spent most of the evening trying to gain access to the internet with little success. Instead I phoned my boyfriend Joe and told him all about my trip so far.
After yet another disturbed sleep I woke up at 3am and started writing in my journal, as I was still feeling very homesick.