Day 17 - 21/10/09 - Beijing (China)
Today was to be a big day... We were in the hotel lobby at 8:30 to meet Michelle for our trip to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. On the way to the Great Wall, we stopped in at a Clisonne factory, where they make vases, plates and various other objects out of copper and enamel. It was very interesting to see how these are made and the time it takes to make them.
We arrived at the Great Wall at about 11am, and it was very crowded, with tour buses everywhere. Michelle sent us off up the Wall and agreed to meet us in 1 1/2hrs - she would not be joining us on the Wall. It was quite difficult to climb the Wall in places due to the amount of people there and also the uneven steps (both uneven in height and not flat).
Pictures do not due the Wall justice, you really need to climb it yourself - it was well worth the burning legs! There were so many steps, and it was very steep in places, but we made it to the end. When the 5yr old girl that was climbing next to Jess made it without complaining, you feel bad when you struggle to keep going.
We did not see any rabbits, so the Wall is doing a good job at keeping them out of China. We did try to explain this to Michelle, but we think you really need to be Aussie to get it.
Lunch today was at Jade factory, where we bought a beautiful Jade Sand painting after watching others get made. Afterwards, we travelled to the Ming Tombs. There are 13 tombs here, but only 2 are open to the pulic, and we visited 1 of these.
Day 18 - 22/10/09 - Beijing (China)
Michelle picked us up this morning and transferred us to our next hotel in Beijing. Our new hotel is great, except for the location... it is at least a 1km walk to anything and is surrounded by construction sites. The hotel rooms are large and a great standard with an equally great bathroom. We are on the 18th floor, so have a great view over part of Beijing.
The morning was spent checking in and settling in, before going for a walk to check out how to get to the subway and shops. This proved to be difficult when we are in a new area and not all the roads were on the old map that we have, so the road our hotel is on does not exist.
After walking for about an hour, we located some shops for water and dinner. We even managed to find our way back to the hotel.
Take care - Jess & Scotty