|We started our day early today by having breakfast at 8 am and then we were on the bus at 8:30 to go to Tianamen (spelling ?) square. It's huge! And there are so many people walking around. We had a group photo made there. And people were fascinated with Ansley and her blonde hair. I think by the time the day was over she had taken at least 25 pictures with people! It was like she was a movie star or something. It was kind of fun at the beginning but by the end of the day it got a little annoying I must say.
Next we went to the Forbidden City. They are doing a lot of restoration on it before the 2008 olympics. The buildings are beautiful! And it goes on forever and ever. It doesn't look that big when you go in but it took us a while to get through it because it's so large.
Then it was back to the bus and on to the jade factory and then lunch. The jade factory was neat. We learned all about the different classes of jade and saw some beautiful jade carvings. We bought a few things there and headed over to the cloisenne factory.
There was a restaurant upstairs where we ate lunch. We had lots of different things but the best thing today was french fries! Yummy! We were able to shop downstairs at the cloisenne place. They had paper cut art, scrolls, carpets, etc. It was a neat place. We bought a few things but didn't have enough time to do a lot of shopping. Maybe that's good because there was some neat stuff in there and we probably would have ended up spending too much money in there!
From there we headed to the Great Wall. It took 20 minutes or so to get there. I think I enjoyed this part the best of all today. The Great Wall was awesome. I can't even describe it. It was breathtaking. And it was hard to believe we were actually climbing The Great Wall of China! It is extremely steep and the steps are all different sizes and uneven. Ansley, John and I climbed way up but just couldn't go any farther because our legs were hurting so bad! We got a little certificate for Ansley with her name and the date on it saying she climbed the wall. She thought that was really neat. She whined the whole way up but once she got up she thought it was great. She had her own disposable camera and took lots of pictures from up there. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. We also took a lock to put on the wall. When you first start climbing up there's a place where people put locks on a chain. We took one that had our names (John, Stephanie, Ansley and Elisabeth) on it, the date, Fort Mill SC, and John3:16 on it. We put it on the chain which was really cool. It will stay there 2-3 years before they take all the locks down.
Let me tell you....going down isn't any easier than going up! It's hard on the legs. We are going to be sore tomorrow! We are very proud of Ansley for making it up so far with her little short legs! She can't wait to tell the kids at school about it.
Next it was off to a silk factory and then to dinner. Dinner was good. We had Peking duck. I didn't eat any but others said it was good (but a little greasy). I stuck to rice, peas and corn and bok choy. We were exhausted by the time dinner was over and were very ready to get back to the hotel. We had been gone almost 12 hours and we were on the go all day long. It was a great day but very exhausting.
We leave tomorrow to go to Changsha to get Elisabeth! We can't wait!