Perhaps one of the most amazing things I have ever seen or done... today we climbed the Great Wall. OK... I'll admit, I didn't do much of it, Steve did more. It was really, really HARD to climb. And crazy scary coming down! But, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
If you look on the ridge to the right (by the tree branch) you can see (barely) in the distance a tower. Steve hiked all the way there... I hiked a bit past the first and second tower. It is CRAZY steep. And each step is either 5 inches high or about 16 inches high or somewhere in between. Very uneven, very, very steep and very difficult.
Seriously... I can't believe we actually took these pictures!
I can't express how beautiful it was. Parts of these walls are thousands of years old. They built them during a time when there was no machinery to help... just the physical strength of man. Therefore our guide wouldn't take us to the part of the wall where you can ride a cable car or something up... we had to use our own physical strength to get up the wall, so we could appreciate how difficult it was to build. It worked.
The wall is approximately 5000 miles long. Unbelievable.
Here is a picture of our travel group. Have I mentioned that they are awesome!!!!
and a few more sites that might look familiar to you.... the birds nest and the water cube from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Sadly... the birds nest is now used for NOTHING. Can you believe that?
Our day ended with and unsuccessful hunt of a Nike shirt with Just Do It written in Chinese characters. We were instructed where to go... and could not find it. We walked and walked. No luck. Then we had to find our way back to the hotel.
Steve insists we weren't lost. I happen to disagree... I say when it's dark outside, when you don't know what street you are on (because you can't read the signs), when you can't read the map because it's also in Chinese, when a cab driver refuses to drive you because you don't speak Chinese (even though we could have pointed on the map where we needed to go), when you can't ask anyone for help because you don't speak their language and you are TIRED... you are LOST!!!!!!!
Since I am blogging safely from our hotel room, we did find our way back. So, maybe Steve was right. BUT, it sure felt like we were lost there for a little while... and when you are in Beijing China and can't speak a word of Mandarin, it's a little scary.
So, this ends our touring of Beijing. Starting tomorrow... our trip become a much different trip then what we have experienced so far. We will be flying to Zhengzhou, Henan Province tomorrow morning. Being in province will be much different from being in Beijing. For starters, no Starbucks!
We are less than 36 hours away from meeting our Grace Lin XiaoYun and we CANNOT wait! Our travel group will grow in size by 7. And I can't wait to see all those children with their forever families!
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