Sunday, July 08, 2007

MJ and Nici Are In China 2--Beijing!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Today we had a full day of touring. We first went to a Jade Factory where we learned how to tell the difference between quality Jade and fake Jade. It was very informative and we learned a lot about Jade! Then we had the opportunity to walk around and look at beautiful Jade goods. We could also purchase items at this location.

In this picture, the gentleman is carving the Jade. After he carves it, another worker then polishes it. After our visit to the Jade factory, we headed north out of Beijing towards the Great Wall. The view was beautiful as we approached the wall.

These are padlocks lining the wall as you first begin the climb. The locks are placed there by lovers and then once it is attatched, they throw away the key to symbolize their long lasting love.
Here is a view from the first guard tower looking up the wall. Some of the steps were high, some were short. They were very uneven, making the climb up the wall tiring and treacherous. It was also very hot! We were sweating like crazy!
I was able to make it up the wall to an area between the second and third guard towers. In this picture you scan see some of the wall snaking amongst the mountains.
After we toured the wall, we went to lunch at the Friendship store. This was fun and there were so many great things to buy and see. This store is government owned, so you can't barter, but it was an interesting way of shopping because you tell the sales representative what you want. She then writes it up on a ticket that you are given as you enter the store. After she gives you a copy of the ticket, you take it to the cashier and pay for it. The sales representative then gives you your items. After a little bit of shopping, we headed to the Ming Tombs. This was very beautiful and the grounds were immaculate. The tombs are guarded by animals, mystic beasts, and soldiers.

Once we finished walking the grounds at the Ming Tombs, we headed back to the city and then went to tour a Silk Carpet Factory. This was very interesting and we can see why those carpets are so expensive. Each one is hand made. The girls who make the carpets have to take a break every 30 minutes because of the tedious work.

We ended the day with a nice Peking Duck dinner. They carved the duck before bringing it to our table, but they put the meat in these nice porcelin dishes.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to pack and get some rest before our travel to Nanchang.
This is a picture of our hotel room. It was very nice and the beds are a little hard, but we were so tired everyday that it did not really bother us. Overall we really enjoyed staying at the hotel. Today (Sunday) we are flying to Nanchang. We are hoping we will get Meghan today, but we will definately get her tomorrow. I have no idea how our blog looks because I am unable to look at it, but I can post. So I hope it makes sense! We are going to try to post updates from Nanchang, providing that we are able to connect to the internet. Hopefully our next post will be from Nanchang! Only 8 hours until we hopefully see Meghan!

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