Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Wall 2011!!!!!!

 We went and saw the Great Wall of China today!  I honestly could not imagine coming to China without seeing such a magnificent structure!  We managed to get lucky, too.  Our guide commented on the day: This week of the year usually has coldest day of entire year.  Apparently the sun shone just for us today.  And SHINE it did!  It was cool, but, we had long johns on and that did the trick!  Our noses and ears were cold, but no other body parts suffered.

I filled an entire card with the day's activities.  The Wall at this point is about a mile of restored wall.  It is a wonder of labor!  Built without cranes, helicopters or bulldozers.  Walking along it is a task since it follows every incline of ever hill.  It is majestic, sitting, as it does, in impossible surroundings.  We were fortunate since we were among very few visiting today.  With the breeze, some might call it wind, but we spent our college years in Ellensburg and know what WIND is, whistling through the guard towers, one could imagine it being a very lonely and cold task.
 We both saw towers 14 and 15, with me running ahead and conquering tower 16 alone.  The wall meanders across the hilltops in a most crooked way.  No wonder horse soldiers from Mongolia found it daunting.
 Cora made a beautiful subject for my photos!

And, as I was telling Cora:  Smog is bad for the lungs, but awesome for photos!
 Below you see us standing atop tower 15.
We had a very good day!  We stopped and saw a Cloisonne factory, which was spectacular...and a way to get tourist dollars, but no matter, it was of great interest! I will write of that in a second post if Cora does not.  Oh, and be sure to visit (Cora's blog) We will be posting different photos there.

We left the Wall to go get lunch.  Our driver showed considerable skill in ignoring signs, pedestrians, and lines on the road.  Apparently, lines are more of a suggestion.  I don't know how many times we were travelling down the road...ON the centerline.  I mean, I am what I like to call a creative driver, but this guy had me thinking about rewriting my list of greatest fears; moving seeing my parents naked off the top of my list and replacing that with driving in China.  He passed a bus with his mirror scant millimeters away from brushing it.  A car was taking a left turn and instead of stopping to avoid a collision, steered a mite wider, got in the other drivers way, laid on his horn, and glared at the other driver.  He seemed to think of his turn signal only on rare occasions and, then, as an after thought.  He was in the midst of passing a couple trucks in fourth gear (you know, that lugging sound an engine makes when you are in too high a gear? Yeah, that one) and we were passing at the rate a lazy cat walks, and a bus, full sized and full of speed came around the was also ignoring the centerline.  Both drivers snapped their vehicles in the correct lane, apparently ignorant of their passenger's sphincter fluctuations.

We had only had a small amount of drink and water since the night before, and I think i was a little dehydrated.  The effort on the Great Wall, plus avoiding hawkers (hockers? or is it halkers?) and the slight dehydration plus a couple other issues combined to put me into a rare state of becoming carsick.  Our driver apparently thought a scenic drive in the country involved going very fast around corners.  I was a little leery when we got to lunch, but lots of Jasmine tea and a little food soon put me back to normal.

we had an "Authentic" Chinese lunch.  Which happened to be in a restaurant over a Jade working place.  Beautiful pieces of Jade were all over.  For sale of course.  But, we were fascinated by the workmanship and the beauty.  I took pictures...Cora then pointed out no one else had cameras...Ooops.

We began our trek back, through rush hour traffic.  We finally got to see Beijing in daylight.  We are back, and Cora has a story to tell, too!


Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Awesome!!! Love the pics. All drivers in China are like that!

Lorrene said...

Fantastic account of your day. I loved it. I can't wait to see all of your photo's.

Charissa said...

You made me nervous with your account. Read it out loud to the kids as they gazed at the cool pictures. Love and miss you guys! Get some rest while we go about our day.

Love sis

Alyson and Ford said...

Don't forget to snap up a few of those bargains for sale - Birthday gifts for Chloe!!

How about those steps on The Wall?! Little ones, Big ones, Short ones and Tall ones! They about killed me :)

sweet momma luv u said...

Beautiful shots! Glorious day of sunshine!!

Ah yes the drivers are so much fun in China! I would just close my eyes as I got to nervous when they were weaving in and out of traffic and tight spots!


Alyson and Ford said...

My hubby speaks the truth..... buy, buy, and buy those gifts for future birthdays for your new daughter. Now is the time. Shop!!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Anonymous said...

the picture of that airliner looks a lot different than that little airplane that I followed all the way across the Pacific on flight aware. Glad to see that it was a bit more substantial. Dad

Anonymous said...

Loved how that wall seem to keep on going and going and going. Remember Mongolians thought to go around it in the end. Not to far from our American Indians who circled the wagons. Enjoy reading your blogs and will try to watch them each day to see if you wrote anything. After Chloe all bets are off.Love Mom