The Great Wall – Oct 2008

The Great Wall of China was the first adventure of our first day of touring in Beijing.  Pictured here is the steepest section of the Great Wall at the location we explored.  Gene went part of the way up this section while I explored at a lower elevation.  The pictures shared here just won’t do the Great Wall justice.  In every direction you look from this vantage point there is the great wall.  The views are stunning.

On the wall is a heavy chain.  Pieces of ribbon and other trinkets are attached to the chain with locks.  These are symbols that people put here to express their good wishes for the family.  Everything in China has some symbolism.  The most important or good health and good family followed by prosperity.

This tall display of red ribbons is in front of the temple located at this spot on the great wall.  Each ribbon includes a red card attached which has the family seal on it.  We don’t know their specific symbolism, based on their color and the attachment of the family seal, we believe these also are for good health or good wishes.

From the Great Wall we traveled to a factory that produces cloisonné pottery, and a traditional Chinese lunch.  Food is served family style to our tables which seat eight.  All dishes are placed in the center of the table on a large lazy-susan.  The lazy-susan is constantly moving with each of selecting the items we want to try.  Some great, some okay and some not so good based on your preferences.  The most interesting item at lunch is a squirrel fish.   The fish is cross-hatched along its entire body and dropped in hot oil.  This gives it a unique design and look when it is served.  It is sometimes served with the head and tale on.

Fortified with food we moved to the Pearl & Silk Markets.  This building has six floors and much more than silk and pearls.  You can by jeans, underwear, shoes, food, any type of clothing items and accessories.  The sixth floor contains all the jewelry a girl would want to play in for a full day.  Purchases were made on both in the silk section and the jewelry section.  Of Course.

Now this is a weekday in Beijing.  Everyplace we go takes at least 50% longer than it should because of the traffic.  So we were behind schedule all day long.  By the time we returned to our hotel in the evening we were all bushed.  All in all I would have to say this was a great day for those that enjoy “The Glamour of the Road”.