Today is our final day, but by no means is it a day to relax. Once again we set out early to beat the crowds. Our first stop of the day was the Great Wall of China. My goal was to hike as much of the wall as I could. Because of the fog an the haze none of the conditions for photos was far less than ideal. As I started out the mass of people climbing was shoulder to shoulder, at time you were practically climbing over people. The climb is quite steep and people stopping and sitting on the steps to catch their breath and rest just thickens the people traffic jam. Fortunately after the first two towers a lot of people think twice and go no further. At this point the climb was still steep and taxing, but you had more room. I continued for about an hour and made it to the final tower you were allow to go to.
|Great Wall of China from tower #13|
Afterward we went to a factory where they make jade carvings. In Chinese culture jade is a very prized material. In the past it was valued more than gold. I bought myself a small jade article.
Our final stop of the day was the Forbidden City. I think I was looking forward to this the most and it certainly did not disappoint. I was stunned by how large a complex it is. The Forbidden City dates back to about the 13th century and was the home of the emperor. You stand in the center of one grand court yard amazed by what you see around you. The buildings are just amazing.
|One of the palaces in the Forbidden City|
Just when I though my exotic food tasting was done I had one more interesting sampling. We had donkey as one of our entrees for dinner. My mom and I took a short walk around the hotel to spend our final final bit of Chinese money.