There is so much I could write about China. The kids’ blogs have already mentioned the main points of our trip there, so I thought I might reflect on seeing the Great Wall, which was a highlight of China for me.
We drove out of Beijing mid-day for the 1.5 hour drive to the section of the Wall we were going to see. I was surprised by a couple of things along the way: first, I had no idea that you could see it from a very far distance, so that we were still in the city when we starting to see the outline of the wall from afar. Second, although I realized it was in the mountains, I did not realize how high up it actually was. The wall was built on the top of the ridgeline, at the top a very high mountain range.
When we walked on the wall, and stopped to look over at how steep it was, it was incredible to imagine building the thing. It was also easy to see why so many workers died. They would have been building solid brick and stone walls as they stood on almost vertical cliffs. It was a gorgeous day, with an unusual clear sky, so we could see a good distance. And once again, I was surprised. I didn’t realize how many of the watchtowers there were. At least in the section you walked along, they were far more frequent than I expected. Our guide mentioned that while some portions of the wall existed in various kingdoms, it took 1,000,000 builders about 10 years to build all the connections. All in all, it made me feel very small, and in awe of what these workers and slaves did.
By the way, posting this from Saigon, Vietnam, where the temperature was about 90F today. No more jackets and hats!
Our first day in The People’s Republic of China we docked in Shanghai and explored the city. We went to a cool garden and got some dumplings. Then we went to a really big garden and got DQ (I’m starting to like gardens).
The next day we hopped on a bus to the airport for a field program in Beijing. It was really cool; they had Just for Laughs Gags playing on the plane. When we landed we met our tour guide. We went to a tea ceremony. We sampled really good tea, but it was very expensive, so we didn’t buy any. Then we took a rickshaw ride to an old house for a dumpling-making class and dinner.
Then we went to the hotel. It was so cool because they had CNN, HBO and Discovery in English. Can you tell that I haven’t seen English TV in a while? The next day we went to Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City. Next we went to the Llama temple (I am the Dalai Llama). Also our tour guide gave us headsets so we could hear her all the time. It was really cool. Lastly we went to a really awesome acrobatic show.
The next day we went to the Great Wall. It was the most exciting thing we have done so far. Then the tour went to a really fancy place for dinner. There were only expensive sports cars outside. It was the best food we had in China. Next we went to the Temple of Heaven. Everyone who ever conquered China took pictures in front of it (I find that hilarious). Then we flew to Hong Kong on the shadiest plane in the world; my armrest almost broke off when I applied no force to it. And the wing nearest me seemed to be wobbling up and down…
The last day we wandered around the Hong Kong and went to an awesome aviary. A bird almost jumped on Dad. Now we are sailing to Vietnam.