The Great Wall of China was definitely a huge highlight for me!
I kept saying to myself, "I'm on the Great Wall of China! I'm in CHINA...on the GREAT WALL!!!"
I had chills...
This is the section of the Great Wall we were walking on...
We went to Beijing's Olympic Park...and saw the Bird's Nest...
and the Water Cube where Michael Phelps won his 8 medals...
The kids went nuts when we went to the Beijing Zoo and saw the Giant Pandas. We had a personal showing of them...pretty special!
Tian'anmen Square! Our group actually missed going to this originally...the first day...because of our flight delays out of SFO..but Effee made sure we got back there. We didn't get to go in and spend time in the Forbidden City...which disappointed me, but the kids didn't seem to mind! Tian'anmen square is the fourth largest city square in the world...109 acres.
The Monument to the People's Heroes
The shrubbery there was beautiful! Can you tell that the white part of the round ball is China? All in flowers!
The Dragon Boats are popular ways to travel across the lake...which we did!
We were headed to a gate on the city wall for a welcoming ceremony...when we had a little fender bender in the coach! It took so long to get a new bus (the old one wasn't THAT damaged, but wasn't allowed to go on without all the documentation...so they sent us a new bus) As we sat in the bus waiting, I watched this man trying to pull his wife (?) through the crazy traffic in their little carts!
Here we are at one of the city gates. This is what met us.
We were welcomed...then the city gate opened and we were once again welcomed one by one with a 'passport' and key to the city put around our neck.
The emperor and emperess...
In this picture above, you can see the battlements...where soldiers could look out and shoot at their enemies!
When we went back down the steps to get to our bus, the whole entourage was gone...so some of us snapped a few pictures...not sure if we should have???
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda
I loved this! Obviously a pair of grandparents with their little granddaughter. The grandmother was dancing with her. It was so precious!
We also took a class in Chinese painting. This 'master' showed us how to use their brush...and he painted this flower while we watched. Then we were instructed on how to paint bamboo...which we all did.
Inside, we all used molds and made one...we couldn't keep them, unfortunately, because the clay needed to dry and be fired. It was fun to see how they did it though.
Next stop...the actual Terra Cotta Warriors!
The sets were amazing...as well as the performers. My little camera didn't do well with the low light...so no pics :(
From Xi'an...we flew to our next area of China... Guilin
Guilin is amazingly gorgeous!
We were heading to a tea plantation...