Aalto on Tracks

After the ridiculously long bus ride we finally arrived to Beijing around 6am in the morning. Having spent the last 14 hours in a bus somewhere in China, the hotel felt dreamy: Wide beds and real showers weren’t something we had gotten used to.

Since it was our only day in Beijing many brave ones decided to skip sleeping altogether and make the most of it. Some even tried to reach the Great Wall within the few hours we had (the attempt failed though, but I’m sure they came up with other amazing adventures :) ). Our bunch grabbed a taxi and rushed to see how the Forbidden City was doing.

Aaltoes and BATES people

Around 15 entrepreneurially minded Aalto on Tracks participants had a workshop with Tsinghua students from BATES. The topic was social entrepreneurship and sustainable development project in western China.

In the afternoon, the rest of us headed to the Tsinghua University campus where a couple of students took us around the beautiful campus. After having lunch in a local hamburger restaurant (which was, by the way, veeery similar to the one we all know) the guided tour continued. However, me, Atso and Heikki decided to find our own way through the campus and back to the metro station.

Our little adventure was wonderful! Just walking around and watching how local students live, study and enjoy was interesting. Besides seeing football fields, beautiful roses, a wedding couple and an island in the river crossing the campus, we sneaked in to a building to have a look at a lecture which apparently had something to do with communist party politics. At least that’s what we were told, and mind you, that’s what the sickle and hammer style table in the front of the auditorium sort of implied, too.

In the end of the day like this, even though a short one, it’s easy to like Beijing. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back in a week. But now towards Shanghai!


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