because we will be going to the great wall this day which is a little far from the city, we hired a van plus a tour guide for this day. so after breakfast, we met our driver and tour guide at the hotel lobby and off we went to be a hero.
since this is a “tour” we had several requisite stops at some of the factories in china. according to our tour guide, they are required to bring their guests here, stay for a certain number of minutes, and then leave. they are given an incentive from the government when they do this. we are not forced to buy anything from these stores, but be warned that the sales team can be very persistent for you to buy something. plus the languange barrier makes it a little hard to explain that you are really not interested in these things.
we stopped by the jade factory, the silk factory, a pearl culturing shop plus a sports medicine facility where we got a free foot massage. this was very welcome since we stopped by here after our great wall hike, so it was a relief from our sore feet. and being a girl, i could not help myself, so i bought earrings at the jade factory and the pearl store. 😉
we went to the juyongguan section of the great wall. here we scaled several meters of the wall, but it was only hubby who climbed a steep stair section going to the first post of this wall. we were able to see all kinds of tourists visiting the great wall. there also “love locks” attached to some portions of the wall wherein lovers had their names inscribed into the locks.
a quote relating to the great wall: “until you reach the Great Wall, you are no hero.” so i guess, we are heroes now. 🙂
after the wall, we had a buffet lunch and then we headed to the summer palace. this is the largest royal garden in China. main sections consist of the longevity hill and the kunming lake. the seventeen-arch bridge can also be found at this complex. we walked around and toured some of the buildings but we were unable to take the cruise which would provide a more interesting view of this place.
here, we learned regarding the lion statues that are mostly found in chinese buildings. if there is a ball under the paw of the lion, it is a male lion and the ball symbolizes power. if there is a cub under the paw, it is a female lion which symbolized fertility. 🙂
our last stop for the day was the olympic village. we did not stay too long and just took pictures here. i would think it would be more beautiful at night since you will be able to see the different lights in the buildings.
that’s it for our third day of touring beijing.