Today was absolutely packed with incredible sights! We started off the day with blue skies for the second time, which our tour guide said was lucky because 200 days of the year are smoggy in Beijing. This turned out to be perfect because we visited one of the 7 Wonders of the World today- The Great Wall of China! The wall stretches through 9 cities, provinces, and autonomous regions, and approximately 1/5 of China's population took part in its construction. After a 1.5 hrs ride through the city and into the country side, we were able to see the more agricultural side of the country and eventually reached the Yanshan Mountains. We took a cable car up and started our trek across the wall in two directions, with some of us reaching the end of the wall's segment! FYI: this was a huge victory- the wall is anything but flat.
After taking in the views we took a toboggan ride back down the mountain and headed to lunch. On the menu today was BBQ trout and donkey meat, along with five or six other dishes.
We waved goodbye to the wall and drove to a government run Cloisonné factory. This is a traditional enamel ware that has a 500 year old history in China.
Next: The 798 Art District, an entire town filled with galleries, cafés and fun little shops to explore- not to mention incredible graffiti art!
Our last meal of the day was at Peking Duck, an extremely popular choice among locals. We had our duck, supposedly cut into 108 pieces as is tradition, and headed on our way to the Laoshe Teahouse. While enjoying our jasmine tea we viewed a range of performances on stage. Acrobats, jugglers, playacting, shadow puppets, a balancing pot artist and fan dancers to name only a few.