From Dalian to Xi’an to Beijing (Day 5)
The last and final day of the trip involved a morning at the Temple of Heaven. Really, it was more than one single structure. The whole area was more like a park with a cover to get in. In random places, people would be practicing yoga or taking group dance lessons. Such a large, green area in the middle of the city reminded me of Central Park in New York.
Several different locations in the middle of the grounds were the hot spots to see and had their own fee to enter. Each sight generally involved some kind of ritual in hopes of achieving a good harvest or some other need. Key areas where constructed, for priests and other orators, that had special auditory properties.
While wandering around, I was again stopped for more pictures. This time, however, I had to take 4 or 5 pictures. Apparently stopping for one picture allowed a couple groups to take advantage of it. If people formed lines in China, I guarantee there would have been one. Talk about unexpected.
The afternoon was spent as spent shopping (or at least looking around) at the pearl market and silk market. If there was something you wanted whether it was clothing, electronics, jewelry or anything else, you could find it here. Even if somebody didn’t have what you were looking for, I know they could find it somewhere else for you. Literally, entire floors would be filled with as many venders as they could possibly fit inside. Each vender would, of course, cram as much inventory into their areas as possible.
Besides the massively overwhelming amount of goods for sale, I also had to tolerate the vendors themselves. They certainly weren’t shy about trying to make a sale. Everybody would approach my group, sometimes even stopping us by grabbing an arm, and numerous times somebody tried to sell me a watch even when the watch I was wearing was clearly visible. I was very happy to leave both places. Obviously, the day couldn’t end though without our taxi driver get lost on the way back to the hotel.
After a quick flight back to Dalian and a taxi ride home, the trip was over. There was so much more to see and do that I really needed another week at least. It doesn’t matter though; it was still a great experience. I guess I simply have an excuse to come back in the future now.