We had to wake up really early so that we could get to the Great Wall at around 8:30am to beat the crowd and the heat. I really hate the buffet breakfast that we have at this hotel. Everything sucks. They've got bland fried noodles and rice and a whole bunch of tasteless dishes. I really don't seem to be liking northern Chinese food.
So we get to the Great Wall, and it's a section of the wall that doesn't have any of those mechanical things that carry you up. I've never been to the Grouse Grind, but let me tell you, it probably rivals that. The stairs are grossly disproportioned, some steps are like 1.5 feet high and at 45 degree angles. I didn't even bother going all the way up to the top. It was way too tiring and even though the temperature wasn't so bad, I was drenched. Like I was dripping water. I wanted to strip off my shirt. I was probably about 90% to the top before I decided to turn back because if I didn't, I would haven't enough time to get back down. Going down...is...suicide. After using all your energy lifting your legs for those 1.5 feet steps up a 800m mountain, your legs feel like jello. I was still able to stand, but as I bend my knees down to the next step, it feels like my legs are going to give way and I'll just tumble down the 3 billion steps. It was actually quite a tempting thing to do. I just wanted to get the heck out of this miserable place. Ugh, so I've been to the Great Wall now, whoopeedooda *sweat drop*.
The rest of the day was quite low key. Which was kind of good after that treacherous climb.
We went to a jade museum and I bought a dolphin (it's just something I need to buy everywhere I go) and a blue cat's eye pendant.
Next, we headed off to some place where 13 emperors were burried. I forgot what it is called. We just walked a very short part of it. It was a path where statues of generals and various animals were placed so that the two sides of the path were mirror images.
Lunch came next. Well, not really, we had a short tour of a Cloisonne factory first. It is such precise work. I think I'd go blind making these miniscule designs on a vase and then tediously colouring them in with enamel.
After lunch we had some free time to shop around in this small market area. There was nothing interesting there.
The next two places are very very similar. First, we stopped by Bao Shu Tang, which is famous for a lot of their "multi-purpose" lotions and pills. There this one cream that like helps any sort of skin ailment. The smell of the creams and the patches were intoxicating. It reminds me of those vials of tiny pills that I used to take for stomach aches and such.
The last highlight of the day was a famous place known for their herbal medicine. Here's where they talk about how Chinese medicine is really good because it helps you balance out the certain things in your body so you can be healthier and get sick less often as opposed to the western medicine which just tries to "treat" symptoms when you've already got something. So my parents get their "pulse" taken and spend like $1000 Canadian buying these pills they need to take for 3-6 months.
Then we head off to dinner. This is probably the best meal I've had in Beijing. The one thing about eating out at Beijing resaturants is that the rice sucks. It's always mushy and sometimes cold. They give you like a small plate of rice to share between 10 people. These two guys from California eat so much rice. I was kind of surprised, I said to them, "I can't believe you're more asian than me." lol
This was kind of the first time that I got to chat a bit with some of the kids in our group. It was quite amusing.
Now it's about 9:45pm. We're leaving for Shanghai tomorrow. We need to be up at 4:45am and leave for the airport at 5:15am. Sure, screw up our biological clocks even more. I'm sure mine's going haywire.
I better get to bed now...