This past week has blessed us with incredibly beautiful weather because spring is finally here in Beijing. Temperatures have hit the upper 80s, the air has been clear, and the tree pollen has started to fly. However, it won’t be spring time for long, because the harsh realities of summer will soon be upon us. So this weekend, my roommate and I decided not to waste this beautiful weather and take a trip to Beihai Park. 

Going to the park was such a pleasant change from the crowded confines of the city. Immediately upon entering the park, it was as if we had entered a small, secluded paradise. There were no cars, no hordes of rushed commuters, no stinky tofu, but just blue sky, green trees, and a beautiful lake full of paddle boats and ferries. My roommate and I were just happy to take big, deep breaths of fresh air without a face mask. Everything seemed to slow down. No one was hurrying to get anywhere, but were simply enjoying a walk on the cobblestone paths or sitting on the wooden benches with their children.  With that in mind, my roommate and I decided to not to follow a map but just amble aimlessly around the lake. 

While the scenery was refreshing, the buildings and pagodas sprinkled throughout the park were beautiful to explore. Sometimes I forget how old and historically rich China is Monday through Friday. The stone steps, giant arches, and ornate decorations were incredibly detailed and spared no colors. The temples were also a marvel to explore. People actually come and pay respects to boddhisatvas or leave prayers for the spirits here, and why wouldn’t you? It’s a beautiful place to pray and meditate. 

My roommate and I were so taken away by everything that when we finally stopped to sit down and rest a bit, we were immediately reminded of our aching feet. We ended our trip with a ferry ride across the lake back from whence we came.  The intern life can be very tiring, especially in such an overwhelmingly cosmopolitan city like Beijing, so a change in scenery every now and then will do definitely do me some good while I’m here. I will need to find another park while I’m here in Beijing. I never thought I would miss green so much.