Monday, February 27, 2012

Beijing Tour | Day 2

First of all, I want to apologize in advance for typos and grammatical errors (and lack of photos) as I'm rushing like a mad woman to update my blog, and don't have time to recheck my meager writing. It's also getting very late and it's Gotcha Day tomorrow!!! :) Btw, I'm including two posts in one day so this disclaimer refers to the second post as well :).

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Sat. 02.25.12 (cont'd)
First stop was at the Jade Factory consisting of a quick tour and shopping opportunity. There were some very pretty items on display but I had no desire to purchase anything. My mom loves her jade bangle and pendant, which are rarely removed, and I did not realize how expensive jade is, so I was "just browsing" the shop floor. Some families bought small zodiac-sign-animal pendants for their new child, which I thought was a neat idea.

Next was the Great Wall. Our guide, George, suggested we walk up to only the fifth tower or terminal as he wanted us back by a certain time (and the fact that the Wall is gigantic!). Before we headed up, we had our group photo taken for a souvenir Beijing book. If we wanted to purchase the book after our walk, we would pay 100 RMB ($16). Some of us ordered one and paid upfront.

We started our trek up the Wall on multiple-sized steps from a few inches to about a foot or so. I was puffing and panting, and took advantage of those in front who were pausing for breath as I needed a breather myself. It was so crowded at first as most of us were practically "spooning" each other without touching while others were happily coming down the opposite direction. At the first tower, a few "couples" from our group stepped aside to take a quick water break. (Please remember to take a couple bottles of water with you as you do not want to get dehydrated.) Our little group continued and it got harder and harder. I was thankful for our short break and another water break at the second tower as I felt slightly light-headed. I think it was here when it started to thin out a little. Every now and then I took some photos and the views were spectacular (photos very soon, I promise). We moved on at a steady pace and continued taking mini water breaks. By the time we were at the fourth terminal, the fifth tower was just a short ramp away (yeah, no steps on this "last" leg, which was actually harder on the calves!). We made it in 45 minutes (I think?). We took photos. We breathed and drank more water. It was an easier climb down the Wall and there was no crowd at the bottom; we must have hit a few bus-loads of people or something on our way up! Loved our Beijing book, loved the Wall! (Oh, I didn't witness this myself but I heard from several ladies that the squatty potties were absolutely disgusting at the Great Wall; the worst they've seen!)

After lunch, we took a short stroll and some photos at the Olympic Park or Bird's Nest. When none of us in the group thought we'd make it to the Acrobat Show, we were all "alive" again and agreed it was an excellent show. Just don't expect the local audience to be quiet and considerate as most people seemed to be having full-scale conversations like they were sitting at a restaurant!

Back at the hotel, we ordered a light dinner while taking advantage of free wi-fi in the lobby area (which I failed to mention in my earlier post. The Internet is slow but hey, it's free...and again, only in the lobby area). We bumped into another couple who were also armed with their electronic paraphernalia so the four of us sat in silence together while we typed, scrolled, and pressed away until dinner came!

I was giddy...well, we were BOTH giddy as we started packing and preparing for our flight to Zhengzhou -- the capital city of Henan Province. We were finally flying into the same province where our son was staying and it made me smile to think that he has no idea what's ahead of him.

That's a very fast moving blade!
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A few of us climbed up to the tower on the upper right
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The black circles on this map
represented "You are here" but they
were everywhere!
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Thought this was funny
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This was the start of the climb
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It was literally this steep with people's butts as the
main view going up!
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Beautiful view
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We all loved climbing back down;
notice the size of the steps!
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Bird's Nest
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Start of the acrobat show
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End of the acrobat show with multiple motorcycles
inside of this metal sphere

1 comment:

Team Robichaux said...

Aww!! So excited for you!! Can't wait to see him in your arms!! Not long left!