Yes it definitely does snow in China!
Our flight left Xian this morning at 10.50am and we flew over snow covered mountains on the way to Beijing. We touched down just before midday to find we had arrived in time for the first snow in Beijing for 2012!
It was very damp and there was an icy north wind blowing as we walked out of the airport terminal to our bus. On the drive into Beijing the snow started falling again and we saw lots of snow around the city. We checked into our hotel, found as many warm clothes as we could and after a short rest boarded the bus for a short drive to the Temple Of Heaven. The air temperature was around 4 to 5 degrees but the wind chill factor would have put it much closer to zero.
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420. It was a place where Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties went to worship Heaven and offer sacrifices to pray for bumper harvests and favourable rain.
We all did our best to enjoy the temple of Heaven and listen to the information given to us by our new guide Michael. We were very pleased with all students for battling on through very trying conditions. As we walked from the temple to the Heavenly Centre Stone there were people selling beanies and gloves. They made a lot of money out of our group as people scrambled for some extra warmth. Many of us did not even barter and ended up paying 10 rmb for our gloves. The smarter people in the group beat the price down to 5!
After the Temple we took the bus into the centre of Beijing for dinner. Everyone had to find their own dinner and the challenge was put out to everyone to try something’different’ from the market stalls. Several scorpions were devoured along with a starfish and some squid on a stick! Most of us had KFC or McDonalds and stayed indoors where hot chocolates and coffees could be purchased.
Due to the freezing conditions we were back in our hotel by 6.30pm. This gave the students a chance to have a hot shower and some free time before we all called it a night at 9pm.