Up front – there is little to no knitting content. I am working my way down the heel of the first Solstice Slip. Picuture not provided.
Instead – this is travel. And picture heavy – you have been warned.
A mixture of rain and blue sky by late afternoon. It is amazing how much cleaner the air manages to be when you get farther out – but it is still not fun. Better on the mountains – and at least you could see mountains!
Our bus left the hotel at 0800 this morning, bound for the Ming Tombs. Breakfast was either Chinese or Western – or more than one of the above, your choice.
On the way – we had our first real tourist sales pitch experience. A bathroom break was scheduled – just happened to be at a pearl store. Watching a short film, then seeing someone demonstrate how you crank open an oyster to remove the pearls did not make everyone in my family happy and may have put at least one daughter permanently off pearls. Stones are one thing, but killing the oyster was not thrilling.
The Ming Tombs – both the buildings and the Sacred Way carved marble creatures were wonderful. Well worth the mild rain. Uploading from here took forever.
From there we got an even bigger taste of the tourist industry – stopping at a Chinese version of enameled ware factory – complete with restaurant – and chance to see the amount of handwork that goes into the process.
Of course, there was a chance to go shopping.
And then there was the Great Wall – the section at Juyongguan travels up 1000 meters. It does this in a series of steps, switch overs and extremely steep climbs. Every time you came around a corner, figuring you were done, there was yet another set of stairs in front of you.
We went all the way up. As it turns out, perhaps we should have gone up the other wall, a bit farther a distance, but a much shallower climb.
Our evening ended with a performance at the Peking Opera – one opera piece with two performers and an extremely acrobatic skit of the Monkey King vs 18(?) warriors.
200 some digital pictures later, I am still sorting things out.
In the morning we are loading up – then heading out by train in the evening. I do not expect to be back on email till Thursday or later.