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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day Eight - A Giant Stair-Master....

Alright... Everyone should put this on their list of "Things to Experience"... (Aside from never needing to do any sort of leg workout again) This Wonder of the World is awe inspiring... I cannot compare it to anything that I have ever seen... The sheer size and construction of the structures is a tribute to its function (keeping bad people out...)

We started our day downstairs for a quick breakfast in the hotel... Our guide was picking us up at 8:30 and on the list for the day was a Jade Factory and the Great Wall... The wall is about an hour or so from here, so we rented a car (no no no... I was not going to try and negotiate this craziness... the car comes WITH a driver... Very nice... ) :) Mr. Ling picked us up out front and we started our tour. First stop was the Jade Factory where they showed us all of the processes and what types of Jade you will see. (Also got some handy tips on what NOT to buy from the street merchants - No really, those air bubbles in that bracelet are SUPPOSED to be there.....) NOT Jade... :) We picked up a Jade Rat necklace for Sylvie (She is a Rat in case you are wondering... As am I - I think Joy is a snake... Not sure if there is some hidden meaning there... Hmmmm...) :)

We packed back up and were off again - Next stop was the Great Wall... Try to imagine a parking lot filled with cars, buses and tourists in the middle of two mountain ridges with a freeway blazing through underneath... An interesting engineering feat by itself let me tell you... And that is that - Through the ticket booth and up some steps and you are on the Great Wall... Well, not EXACTLY, I probably left out that there are steps to go up, to go down, to go across, to get in, to get out... (You get the picture...) LOTS of steps... Needless to say the stroller stayed in the trunk and we opted for the Ergo for this journey. :) I don't think any of the pictures do the size justice, because this is one big wall. (Probably why you can see it from space...) :) This is just the part of the wall that is by Beijing by the way - There was NO way I was going to be walking more of this thing... Big Big Big...

We safely ascended (and descended) the Great Wall and then we headed for lunch. We ate at a restaurant that was upstairs from a cloisonné making factory and shop... Before you ask, the cloisonnés are a fired enamelware that are crafted here (and have been for MANY years... Yuan Dynasty (1271 to 1368) ...Like THAT many... :) There are things like the little boxes, vases, art, even chopsticks... And some HUGE things like the big vats and vases you can find (some might call them a cauldron I guess...) Found a few things that we liked - Got a wall hanging with Sylvie's Chinese name written on it... Neat stuff... Cauldron would not fit in my luggage, so aside from renting a container (I have given it some thought) I think they will remain here.

Finished up there and we were spent... Got back to the hotel and we got the wee one in for a nap (nap actually started IN the car about 10 minutes from the hotel)... Quick transfer to the crib and got Joy in for a nap as well. Gives me some quite time to catch everyone up on our day(s)... I can hear someone smacking their lips behind me in the crib, so I think I will be getting someone up soon... Not much else on the plate for today - maybe a walk to the market and get some dinner...

Cory & The Sleeping Princess(es)



  1. Fascinating photos... love the jade statue of the happy buddha.. very cool! Looks like an amazing adventure!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I love the pictures and your words have done the pictures justice.