October 27, 2005
- Day 2
is now the end of our first full day in China (well it is really
only 6:45 but that is close enough!). What
a busy day! We were picked
up by GrayLine tours at 8:00 this morning and just now got back.
It was a very international tour, there were nine people, a guy
a couple from Russia, a couple from Poland, a couple from Sydney
and us. We went first to the Ming tombs, where 13 Ming dynasty
emperors are buried. They were quite impressive.The jet lag has been
We both fell asleep around 6:00 last
night and I woke up at about 10:00. I drugged myself to sleep
was back up around 2:00. I took another Ambien and slept till about
Arghhh!!! Mike was also up at about 2:00 and then again at 5:00
but refuses to admit it is Jet Lag. I don't know what he thinks
it is but will allow
him to continue thinking he is too perfect for jet lag. :-) Hopefully
we will make it a full night tonight. After the Ming tombs we
went to the Jade factory to see how they make Jade products. They had
a ship there carved out of only 3 pieces of Jade
that is about 12 feet tall and 20 feet long. Some of the Jade
were beautiful and I have to admit we did buy ourselves
a small Buddha.Then onto lunch at the Friendship store. (I don't remember
this goes, but for a long time only foreigners were allowed to
at the Friendship store, it may have been the only place
they were allowed
to shop at, I'm not sure about that, but now it is open to everyone.)
I love the way Chinese eat. I really think we need to start putting
a lazy susan in the middle of the table, make about 15
and let everyone have a little of everything. They had glass
beef and snow peas, pea pods with pork, fried rice, a fried chicken
dish, some type of greens, beef soup, and about five different other
For our choice of drink we were offered Coke, juice, water or BEER.
Beer is considered in the same category as soda! And there
was Saki at the
table included in the cost of the meal. So much for the Chinese
not being drinkers!
was the major reason we went on the tour, the Great Wall. We went
section of the Great Wall. I hate to admit it, but I
was not able to make it to the top. I gave it the old college try
though. The wall is VERY steep and the steps were definitely built
was any type of building standardization. There would be one step
about 2" up and then the next one would be more like 2 feet! All going
up at about a 80 degree angle! I wasn't doing too badly going up but
I could just guess what it was going to do to my knees going back down.
I basically decided that the view was so impressive that there was
no way it could be any better at the top. And the view is impressive.
really wish I had had a panoramic camera on me. It is amazing to think
that the wall was started around 200 BC. How they built on the side
of those mountains astounds me. I promise to get pictures as soon as
around an internet connection strong enough to let me do it.
bit of a shock to both of us was how many vendors there were
on the Great Wall. Every 15 feet or so someone was tying to sell
us something. I was tempted to by a Rolex just to say that I bought
a Rolex on the great wall but restrained myself. It is weird though,
can you see the US having vendors along the Appalachian trail?
Or on the steps Monticello?
I used my first squatty potty today. (Sorry if I'm sharing too
much, but this is major news) Luckily I was prepared for it after talking
to folks who have been here. And after all the hiking and camping
to mention keg parties in my wild youth) I am pretty good at peeing
the ground. And I had even brought toilet paper with me in preparation.
What I wasn't prepared for was the smell. Epee!!!