To fully appreciate how amazing the day is today, you have to see the pictures from my last visit to Beijing. It was morning. The sun was up and I was on my way to the airport. I promise, the sun really was up.
As we arrived at the terminal, it was as if it appeared out of nowhere, a building suddenly materializing out of the smog.
Naturally we were delayed, but as the morning wore on, the skies began to clear. This picture is taken at the gate, looking out the window to where the plane was docked waiting for us to board.
You can just barely make out the wing of the plane.
The first few days of my trip had been fine. Not great air quality but reasonable for Beijing. The day before I left visibility began to drop and the air became harder to breath. I believe when I left the Air Quality Index was 341. 300+ is the highest category, considered hazardous. Now in larger cities like Beijing that are facing extreme air pollution, anyone who can afford it has an air purifier or 3 in their apartment. A friend who lived in Shanghai works for a company that produces high quality air purifiers, so his home had their best technology, with a filter expected to last a year or more. He had to change his after 3 months. One can only imagine the long term health effects as China struggles to get pollution under control.
Today the AQI is 34. As I sit at the airport today, I see the full plane, the runways behind it, and the mountains in the distance. A brilliant day in Beijing!