Saturday, November 16, 2013


Day 79

A guy working on a "Family Ball."  They are super cool!
We were on the road by 8:30 this morning.  We had to stop at a jade factory first.  Marvin said that it is one of the places they like to have tourist go to, buy some things and help their economy.  It was interesting to learn what to look for in real jade and not the plastic.  Jade will scratch glass.  

Jade horses!  I need these!

This was for sale for about $68,000 US.

After that, we had about 45 minutes to drive to the Great Wall.  We went to the Badaling site to walk on the restored part of the wall there.  It was pretty cold and windy, but we had beautiful blue skies all day long!  I think the beautiful weather was ordered just for us during this weekend in Beijing!  We didn't even have to wear our masks, except to stay warm!  The wall is amazing and to hear all the stories and history behind it was even more amazing.  We were able to spend about an hour and a half there.  We walked up to what is called the Fourth Tower.  It was pretty high and you can hike to the Eight Tower, which some did, but we were pretty tired by the time we got to the Fourth.  A lot of this wall is so steep that you even have to hang onto the handrail when you are using the steps going up and coming down.  Some of the steep parts don't have steps either and I am glad that there was no rain to make it slippery.  It was just amazing to see the work that went into it and the length that it was.

Our first site of the Great Wall.

The doorway to the Fourth Tower.
The two of us walking on the great wall
It wasn't too crowded today!
Inside the First Gate House
The wind was blowing pretty hard in the Towers.  You were almost glad to be walking out in the wind, rather than standing in the Tower.

We went to a restaurant for lunch that was probably the BEST Chinese food that we had had on any of these tours in China so far.  We also had to go through a tourist trap that was the Cloisonne enamelware that originated in Beijing.  It was beautiful also.

The Summer Palace was next on the tour list for today.  It would have been extremely beautiful during the summer, but it was just as impressive touring it during the fall. We wished that we would have had time and the warmth for a boat ride on the lake connected to the palace.

Buildings that are now turned into shops were once used for various purposes in the Summer Palace.

Boats on the lake you could rent, if you were brave enough to face the cold wind today.

The stone boat, made of marble.  The windows were stained glass and the inside was brightly painted.  It never went out on the lake except to be moored here.

One of the buildings for the servants.

The Marco Polo Bridge from across the way.

One of the scenes painted in the walkway.

Inside of the walkway was very colorfully painted ceilings.

One of the palaces.

The walkway that she would walk on every day.

The was the bedroom of the "Dragon Lady Empress."  She would always have to have a servant taste her food to make sure it wasn't poisoned because she had made so many enemies,

The Golden Archway was used to hand a lantern because the Empress didn't like the dark. 

We hurried from there to the Bird's Nest Olympic site, but with the Beijing traffic, we were crawling along and we had a whole twenty minutes to go see it. That turned out to be okay because it was so cold from the North wind, that we walked as fast as we could to get a quick picture and then walked back just as fast to walk back to get on the bus and start to warm up.

Almost a Full Moon in Beijing.

The Birds Nest Olympic Stadium.

From there it was to dinner so we could experience the famous Peking Duck.  That was fun, but I don't know that it topped the lunch today.

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