Before leaving Changping (the north outskirts of Beijing) we were able to visit the Ming Tombs arriving early to beat the crowds and long lines of traffic. I got a tour of impressive facilities at China University of Geosciences closer to the central city of Beijing. Nearby we visited the Summer Palace vacation home for the Ming and Ching emperors. At the Old Summer Palace Yuanmingyuan it was sad to see how it had been looted and destroyed in the 1860s.
In a country of 1.35 billion, in a city of 21 million, a familiar face says hi to me at the hotel breakfast bar. It is colleague Dr. Lisa Pratt from Indiana who has been doing field work in China. Ok, we were both staying at the hotel on the China University of Geosciences campus, but still what are the chances of that??!
I also gave a talk at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS), under the government’s Ministry of Land and Resources branch. This academy conducts frontier, fundamental and strategic studies that are key to geoscience and resources.
Nearby, we were able to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, with great views from nearby temple gardens. We also enjoyed visiting “798”, an up and coming arts district on the northeast side of Beijing. Of course we couldn’t leave Beijing without having Peking Duck.
This draws the second trip of the GSA lecture tour to a close. There were so many great experiences and people in Asia, and I am still trying to absorb all that has happened. I loved the Japanese culture and even though I am a 3rd generation American, I had always wanted to visit China. One student tells me, in China I am referred to as a “banana” – yellow on the outside but white on the inside. Hmmm…. the trip has added many colors, cultures, and landscapes to my perspective. Most of all, it has been great to share and exchange ideas and enthusiasm for geoscience around the world.