The hotel system just does not like our computer and the pictures this a.m., so just to add a little bit of color to the photos (that are a mix of what we have taken over the past few days).
The first few photos are from the Temple of Heaven area (we only walked 3.5 miles that day “through the heavens” – no wonder the Chinese are in such good shape vs. the Americans)…as you will note, even Oakie the Owl made it to the Heaven.
Next we have the plane that we took from Beijing to Guangzhou – only 60-61 rows, all completely filled. We lucked out (due to Lisa’s mandatory very early check-in at the airport) with all of the exit row, so we had a ton of leg room. The US airlines have A LOT to learn from the Chinese airlines in terms of efficiency and super courteous help from the stewards. They aim to please and are constantly asking you if you need anything.
Next, we have the cable car ride photos of the cars that we took up to the to the top of the Great Wall, prior to our 4 mile hike, to the toboggan area back down the wall.
Two more pictures of the wall. They are going to close down several of the sections in this area and re-build them in 2016. This past weekend, there was a huge marathon at the Great Wall (up and down steps and foot paths). A few of the runners told Charlie and Rita that they run was grueling, took them double the amount of time of a normal marathon and that it was very hot.
The wall, with all of the writing, behind Dylan is a room at the Wall, where you can mark yourself in infamy. Dylan and Kyle wrote their names and Ashley drew mulitple hearts with her name.
The next shot is us coming out of the toboggan slide area, prior to our being aggressively accosted to buy a book about the Great Wall.
The next shot is a really cool flag that a man near the Olympic area was flying and trying to sell to us. Dylan was more interested in the metal toy motorcyles behind him that probably cost $60 and were made for $1.
The next picture has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – we weren’t sure if the underwear was for sale, being used, to borrow…a random sight as we were driving by in our van.
The next photo was Forbidden City with the kids and our guide, Robert.
Then Rita, Kyle and the rickshaw driver in the hutong. That was pretty cool. We were pretending that we were on Amazing Race. Our guide did not ride in a rickshaw; he told Rita that he would just “run ahead” of them while they drove, and true to form, he did! Chal will post more on our hutong visit later. It was pretty neat.
The last photo was our goodbye photo to Robert and our other drive, Su, who also wanted a nickname, so Ashley named him Jack (think of Jack Lord and the Hawaii Five O theme playing in the background!) All of the guides and drivers love the American names. Robert said even many people now give their children a Chinese and an American name.
Off to breakfast now….