Day 3 in Beijing was one we will certainly remember, I’m sure. After having breakfast at our hotel, we took a bus ride with other Holt families (Holt is our adoption agency) to The Great Wall (8:00AM I believe). We were told it can be pretty steep at times, and that the steps are sometimes uneven and slippery. It didn’t take long for all us to feel pretty winded climing this beast! The Wall didn’t look that bad while you were climbing — but the grade going up indeed was steep. Before we started, our tour guide Lilly told us that we are heroes for trying to climb…not heroes for finishing! 🙂 Actually, David and I got about 90% of the way to the very top….but even past the “I Climbed The Great Wall” t-shirts that were being sold. But even still we–or at least me–felt like the final 10% was just a bit too challenging!
After coming down the wall we treated ourselves to a Coke (never tasted so good!) and relaxed for a bit… After The Great Wall we all went to lunch and had a number of authentic dishes family style. Some more Coke tasted good! After lunch we toured a jade factory which was downstairs from the restaurant. We saw how jade is cut and the artistry which goes into refining just one piece. Of course there were also items made of jade for sale–most of which were jewelry.
After the jade factory the tour took us to the Hutong area of Beijing. Hutongs are these very narrow alleys and streets flanked by modest homes and even some storefronts. The Hutong area is one of community where everyone lives very close and depends on one another. Because the hutongs are so narrow, the primary way to get around is to use a bicycle. So to tour this area, we took a rickrhaw ride through. Seeing these modest homes and storefronts up close and personal like this was very educational…and fascinating. At the tail end of the Hutong tour, we actually got to visit someone’s house and hear a short presentation from her. I really enjoyed this part of the day!
At this point it was about 3:30PM in the afternoon and it was finally time to head back to the hotel. A tiring day for sure, but one we’ll remember I’m also certain!