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The Great Wall of China

Sunday, May 31, 2009
We got back to the hotel on early Sunday morning after hanging out at the Kokomo and having our cab driver get lost on the way back to the hotel. He did not know where the hotel was and we were not able to communicate with him. Eventually we made it – it was quite the adventure.

We had to be up bright and early to hit the road for our last day in Beijing. Our first stop was The Great Wall. We stopped in Juyanging which is about 80 km (50 miles) outside of Beijing. The Great Wall is over 4,000 miles long so there are many places to see it. The place we went was a pretty intense walk up a very steep hill. It was a beautiful and hot day with bright blue skies so we could see for miles when we got to the top. By the time we headed down, it was pretty crowded so I was glad that we got their early.

After The Great Wall, our next stop was the Summer Palace. This was the summer resort for the Emperor and was built during the Ming Dynasty in the 1400’s. Think of it as the Emperor’s cabin. The lake you see is man-made. The Emperor had it built and all the dirt put on the one of the lake to make a big hill on which the palace was built. The walk around the palace was beautiful. There was also a street that was built just for the Emperor to go shopping. It is nice to be the King!

Our next stop was the Olympic Village. We walked to the Plaza and saw the Bird’s Nest (where they had the opening and closing ceremonies) and the Water Cube (where all the swimming took place). We were not able to go inside anywhere – we just walked around a little bit and then headed for the airport. We were very dirty and tired and were looking forward to getting back to Shanghai.

We arrived back on time and got to our hotel and went right to bed.

NOTE: I will add some pictures tomorrow morning when I have a better internet connection.