The Great Wall

Well Rebecca and I went last week on Thursday to see the wall. We were supposed to go to a section called Badaling which was the first open to the public and the most visited section. However it is on the road that will be used for the outdoor cycling next year during the Olympics. So the traffic was insane and our tour operator suggested our group visit the section before it. I don’t know what it is called off the top of my head. This section is in good shape and usually less crowded. I think the traffic is greatly increasing the visitors detouring there from Badaling. It was a very hot day upper 80’s to low 90’s and there were a lot of many steep steps. About 400 in Rebecca’s counting estimation. She made it all the way to the first watch tower I made most of the way but was getting over heated and decided to quit before I pushed too hard and couldn’t get back down. The steps are very steep and uneven. Some are a foot high and some only about an inch high so it is very random. There were a couple spots with platforms on the way up that were flat and we did find small patches of shade. The metal hand rail was almost too hot to touch.

There was also a long line of padlocks with red ribbons on them along the lower part. I was told by our guide that people make a wish lock these on and take the key with them. Then if their wish comes true they are supposed to come back. Maybe next time I will get a lock.

We also went to a Jade factory and the Ming Tombs that day. The Ming Tombs were kind of a let down. The Tomb is still sealed underground and they tell you the general area it is in. While there you see a couple arches and a few artifacts along with a statue but that is really about it. So not much excitement and we only stopped for about 20 minutes there. The wall doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but it is big and what you expect. Actually it is pretty amazing looking up close.

Next time I will post a bit about the Dongyue Temple where we visited the different departments of hell and rubbed a lucky donkey statue.

Long time no post…..

Ok so it has been awhile since I posted anything. Zoe has been improving vastly on her language skills and often comes out with some of the cutest things when you least expect it. It also means you really have to watch what she hears on tv, music wise, and from us. She is also improving her other skills such as stair climbing which she often insists she can do alone.

Right now we have our niece Rebecca here for a visit and Zoe has been in heaven. She loves playing with Rebecca and is always asking where she is if she can’t see her. It is great having someone for Zoe to play with when you want to have a shower or do something else too. Steve and I may even go out one night and leave her with her cousin.

I have been doing some touring with Rebecca and yesterday all of us went on a tourist attraction spree. Zoe did very well and was not mobbed too badly. When Rebecca and I were at the wall she had some ask to have their picture taken with her so it even effects older kids. I will write another blog about some of our sightseeing adventures or this will get too long.

The temperature here has been in the mid to upper 30’s high 80’s – 90’s which is really hot. I have done suprisingly well in the heat when I have been out in it. Zoe seems to have inherited her fathers tolerance for the hot weather and does well. She won’t always wear her hat but seems to really enjoy it when her and I sunblock up together before going out. I don’t want to find out if she is like her dad in that she doesn’t really burn. I am going to just assume she is like me and needs to bath in sunblock before going out. Since Rebecca has arrived the smog has not been too bad which means you can see the blue sky. It also means the temperature goes up. The smog does make it a few degrees cooler.

Well there are a few stories I have to share and I will post them over the next week or so. It will give you a reason to check back and something to look forward to. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and that we will ge to visit in the fall.