Saturday, April 19th: This day was set aside for some touring of the famous sights in Beijing. You can't visit China without seeing the Great Wall, right?!? Our morning started off with us meeting the other 2 families from our agency who we would travel with while in Beijing and then again in Guangzhou. We were headed to 3 different provinces to meet and bring home our new children. There was a family from New Jersey who adopted a little boy who is 4, Jacob. The second family was a mom from Kingwood, Tx and her sister- who adopted a little girl just a few months older than our little guy, her name is Hannah. It was great to meet other families who were going to meet their new child in the next couple of days. We were all feeling a little excited and jet-lagged at the same time!
Our first stop on the tour was the Great Wall. It really is a GREAT wall! It goes on and on and on- and we were just at one point in the wall. If you combine all the sections of the wall it is over 13,000 miles long!!! I was totally overwhelmed with the thought that it was built with out machinery so many, many years ago- amazing!! The point we were at included a palace that was neat to explore. Steve climbed the furthest out of the 4 of us. I was okay going up but coming down was not good- it was very steep and uneven. I didn't climb far, instead I watched people try not to fall coming down from the higher levels. It was a pretty clear day so that made it nice to get some pictures of the different views of the wall.
Next stop was a jade factory and lunch. We got to see artist working on making different things out of jade including the "family ball" and many different pendants. We learned where jade comes from and about the different colors. Since I knew we were going shopping with a guide in Guangzhou who could get us a "good" deal, we didn't buy anything at the factory although they had a lot of stuff to look at! We had a yummy lunch in the restaurant upstairs of the factory. At this point I was not tired of all the rice and noddles, yet!
Last stop on our tour was Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is very large and includes a mausoleum and museum surrounding it. It is the gateway to the Forbidden City and is used for celebrations throughout the year. The Forbidden City is HUGE! As we entered and kept walking and walking I thought that it was a pretty big place, only to find out we weren't even inside yet!! Once inside it went on and... well you get the picture! The architecture was very neat and I enjoyed hearing from our guide about what life inside the city would be like back in the age of the Chinese dynasty's. The city has over 900 building and 9,999 rooms (or so it is said). It was neat to walk and imagine what life of the emperor would have been like.
We ended our tour day with dinner at our hotel with another former student from Baylor/Tsingua. Faye helped us on our dossier back in 2007- she translated some captions into Chinese for us which our agency thought was awesome! It was great to see Faye again and to hear about what she is doing now in Beijing. Her job takes her to many different places and will hopefully bring her back to the US again soon!
|The GWCA group!|
|The Great Wall|
|Ready to climb the Great Wall!|
|Tiananmen Square with Forbidden City behind|
|Inside the Forbidden City|
|A lovely evening with Faye!|