Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jade Crazed, Great Wall, and Chinese Acrobats

Today we started things off at the jade manufacturing plant where we picked up a few items, including a hand-carved jade "Family ball."  They carve them on-site along with tons of other jewelry items and knick knacks.

Carving a "Family Ball" (layers of jade spheres nested within one another carved out of a single ball of jade).
We then jumped back on the bus to head over to the Great Wall.  The section near Beijing is the newest part of the wall (~600 years old) and most intact, making it a good place to do some climbing.  We hiked up countless numbers of stairs to post high up in the mountains.  We took many breaks along the way to find some shade from the sun and get some water.  On our way back down, our legs were so tired they were trembling.  We were trying to think of all the people in our lives who would join us on the trek or sit it out.  We'll let you know which list you fell on at a later date.  And yes, the girls were once again stopped by old Chinese women to take pictures on numerous occasions. 

Quite a long way up to our destination.

Slow and steady wins the race.

The view looking back at our beginning from the top.

The requisite picture with the foreigners.

After some lunch we briefly passed by the 2008 Olympic Village where we grabbed a few photos of the Bird's Nest and other Olympic structures.  We had a short rest back at the hotel, and were then
treated to a spectacular acrobatics display.  Regina was taking copious notes on exactly how each of the flips, contortions, and human pyramids were performed.  We'll start practicing tomorrow.

2008 Olympic Stadium "Bird's Nest"

Crazy strong acrobats

Can we get one more person on that bike?

At one point, they had 8 motorcycles in this cage.

Tomorrow we leave for Zhengzhou - Madeleine's hometown.  We'll get settled there on Sunday in preparation for the big day on Monday!


Meredith Duggan said...

So cool! By the way, me and Sean can TOTALLY hang on the trek up the Great Wall...

Giana Perns said...

Love all the pictures of the adventure so far. I wish I was there too! I can't wait to hear about the Family Jade ball and the chinese meaning. Great Wall was beautiful and I better be on the make it there list!! lol