Friday, May 23, 2014

The Great Wall...the story

We woke up in the middle of the night last night...around 3am because of the joys of jetlag.  We took that opportunity to Skype with the the kids...which was really great.  They were playing with the little toys we put away for my mom to give them every night.  that was fun to see.  I am really glad we did that.  We talked for a few minutes then distracted them with telling them to go get a snack after we said bye. 

We took another little nap and then got ready for a day at the Wall.  We finished early so we wandered around the area near our hotel and found a 7-11 and Beijing's odlest Catholic church....who knew!  There was a group of women doing what I think was Tai Chi in it's courtyard.

After wandering around for a while we met our CCAI guide and headed out the Great Wall.  It took about 45 minutes to drive there and I wish I would have taken some pictures of the transportation oddities I witnessed.  There were all sizes and shapes of mopeds with multiple passengers on them, pulling trailers of unusual sizes.  One of my favorites was a man on a moped pulling a wooden trailer with a push lawnmower on it and 2 other bicyclists flanking him and holding the lawn mower in place.  There was a woman on a moped with a giant propane tank under her feet....I don't know how that could go wrong...eek!
Some things at the wall I didn't expect.  I knew there was a mountain involved at the wall, but I didn't know I was going to actually  be scaling 3000 feet of uneven stairs.  Part of the fun after we climbed to our stopping point was watching the stairs as people crossed the top of that layer and the hilarity of their exhaustion, panting, and unusual methods of staying cool.  I have never, until today, seen a man roll up the bottom of his button up shirt and make a halter top.  Well done crazy man who had to be from Germany...well done.
From the Great Wall we went to eat at a restaurant that was above a ming vase factory.  I had no idea how those vases were made.  I won't go into detail but it might turn up in our curriculum next year.  It was neat. 
We drove by the Olympic Park on the way back to our hotel.  I am not a big fan of the Olympics...ok..I never watch the Olympics.  I think my distaste for the Olympics stems from it pre-empting all of my favorite TV shows when I was younger.  I am just not a sports afficianado.  Keith knew all about it...I'm not sure how since we were married at the time and I wouldn't let him watch the Olympics.  He must have been sneaking around with another tv watcher.  I can forgive.
We got back to our hotel around 3 and now old man Keith is napping.  We had a super day and the next post has some pictures of our jaunt to the Great Wall.  We initially were going to skip the wall, but we ended up having an extra day in Beijing so threw this trip on our itinerary at the last minute.  I am glad we were able to do it.  We will be back in Beijing on Friday and doing some sightseeing on Saturday.  I will let you know where the Great Wall stands on my very limited must do's during a China Adoption Trip!

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