the whole family on the Great Wall of China!
Today was amazing.
For starters, we slept all night! Still woke early, about 5, but that was fine as we went to sleep about 8:30. We both woke up and said, "that was awesome!" because we had slept all night and we talked about that right before going to sleep!
It certainly helped our day.....we had a long one and made it all the way through with no nap! :)
We went to the Great Wall first off.
The section that our guide took us to is further away, though still in Beijing, but he said it's nice because it's less busy since its further away. It was another neat drive out; through lots of rural area and up into the mountains. Reminded us of the green mountains in NC. Beautiful.
We took a cable car both up and down the mountain and for that we were glad. It was very steep just walking up to the cable car area!
We walked and climbed for a good hour; it was surreal. We just couldn't believe it. Amazing. Beautiful. So much history. Really fascinating. Couldn't believe how many stairs there were, and how steep and uneven. We commented several times about the soldiers running along there and how dangerous that would have been. The towers were especially remarkable with the lookouts and such. I really can't do it justice by explaining, and even the pictures pale in comparison; though we did get some good ones!
After the wall we went to a local restaurant there in the Mutianyu village. We ate mostly rice, but it was fine. We were mostly thirsty and happy to sit for awhile. Also enjoyed a Coke!
From there it was on to Olympic Park to see the Bird's Nest and Water Cube and all the rest. Such a nice area. Interesting to hear about all the changes made to bring the Olympics to Beijing, and what its meant for the city since then. Things like how the city was so dirty before but they cleaned up and now the gov't pays to keep it clean. People here really like that. Also that the prices of cars were VERY expensive before the Olympics b/c they were discouraging people from having personal cars due to more traffic and even more coming for the games. Now prices are much lower.
Anyways, then we went to a Tea Ceremony where we got to taste and learn about several different kinds of tea. I really enjoyed this, except I had my first run-in with squatty potties at the tea house :(
Then we went to our Hutong tour. We rode in a rickshaw to see a Hutong neighborhood. Which is basically the older preserved Beijing. Most people now live in apartments, because too many people, so they've had to eliminate most of the Hutongs to build apartment buildings. This particular one is being preserved by the city b/c tourists enjoy it.... It was fun.
After that we went to the Beijing acrobatic show, which was amazing and incredible, but I was very tired by then.
Back to hotel brings us here!
Enjoy the photos.
Another big day touring the city tomorrow.
Thanks for your prayers.