Day 8: The Great Wall & Beijing

untitled-2Another early start, 7:30 am  on the bus ready to go. We headed off to The Jade Factory where we enhanced the local economy by purchasing some things for Lindsay, Kim and Hannah. Interesting process for manufacturing as it is all done by hand although they do use some drills to do the carving. There were many fine pieces available at some very fine prices.

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Next came the Great Wall! This is simply unbelievable! There are over 6000 Km that span the better part of China. The section we visited is called the Badaling Section. There was a “hard climb” and an “easy climb”. We chose the easy, however it was very hard and very steep. I made it to the top of the section while Jill stopped about a third from the top. Fantastic views of the wall and of the countryside. This is a very old mountain range. To me this was the highlight of the trip.

The afternoon saw us at the Beijing Zoo to see the Pandas. We were told that the Panda isuntitled-11 no longer the closest animal to extinction.This is the Chinese Tiger (Siberian Tiger). These are magnificent animals and we did see two. Additionally we saw a male and female pair of lions as well as some other big cats.

Jong, our tour guide asked us if we had noticed the lack of birds in Beijing, and we had! He believes they have left because of the poor air quality.

Another interesting comment was that people with cars in Beijing have one day per week when the cannot drive their car. This is regulated by the last digit on the license plate. The penalty is 2,000 Yuang, (approx. $330 C) for every two hours and they do have cameras everywhere. Beijing traffic is a complete and total nightmare. Saturday and Sunday everyone can drive their car. Good news . . . tomorrow should see 20% less traffic on the road.

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