Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 2 in Beijing--The Great Wall

Yesterday, we set out with Michael and Mr. Jin (our guide and driver) to hike a section of The Great Wall. Let me tell you. . . "hike" is definitely the right word. It turned out to be a straight-up-the-mountain climb!! Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

We always fill up on a BIG breakfast here at the hotel. The food, here, is a buffet and is delicious and there is more of it than you can eat! We never know what lunch and dinner will be like, so we always make sure we have a great breakfast. We then, got in the car and headed to The Wall. The car drive, alone, is an adventure in itself. I find myself closing my eyes a lot. SO MUCH traffic!!! And, the idea of personal space and the 2 car-length safety distance that we use in the U.S. is NOT observed here in China. Haha!!! They drive right up and pull right over and I found myself feeling almost nausesous a few times when I thought we were about to wreck. But, Mr. Jin is a pro, here in China. And, we never crashed. Thank goodness!

Also, there are many, many people on bikes and scooters. . . entire families on scooters with little children and no helmets. They ride on the same roads with the jam-packed traffic and cars flying and all over the other cars. I sometimes have to close my eyes. But, it is a way of life for the people here. And, so far, I haven't seen one person on a bike get hit. Let's hope that track record will continue to stand!!

So, on our way to the Great Wall we find ourselves sitting in standstill traffic on the highway. Our guide told us that only a couple of months ago, that same highway had a traffic jam that lasted for 2 weeks!!!!! That was NOT what I needed to hear when we have an appointment to meet our little girl in a few days and have a flight to catch to Shanghai tomorrow. Thankfully, the traffic jam cleared up in about 30-45 minutes. And, we were on our way to the Wall. It was an older section of the wall, and our guide said was a less-crowded section. I would hate to see crowded if that was supposed to be "not crowded". I was surprised to see that The Great Wall in this section was basically a straight-up-the mountain hike, with uneven steps with different depths. Handrails were only on the right side and in some places there was no rail. It would not be out-of-the question for someone to fall off the wall. And, if you did, you would fall down the mountain. And a fall down the steps would be highly dangerous as well. We carefully stepped our way up, holding on to the rail for dear life. BUT, the view. . . the view was incredible!!!! The only thing that would have made it better would have been if there were no smog. It was difficult to see very far, and the view would have been heavenly if the air had been more clear. No complaints from me, though!! I'll take what I can get! And, I was in complete awe on The Great Wall. Geoff took some amazing photos. I hope you enjoy!!!

Tomorrow, we fly to Shanghai to be in our sweet daughter's province. And, we will meet our beautiful girl (and she will be added to our family) on Monday. It's called "Gotcha Day". That's not my favorite term, but it is the day we will become a family of 4!!!! So, we are celebrating our Family Day on the 19th!!! For our friends in the U.S. That will be Sunday night for you. We are a day ahead here. And, what a blessing. . . we were given a wonderful picture of our Mei Li that Lori (another adoptive mommy) took of her this week at the orphanage!!!!

So happy to see that smile! We hope she will smile like that when she meets us :) We will certainly be smiling!

So, until I have more to update, enjoy the pics! And, thanks for following our journey!


Brawnica said...

Enjoying your wonderful journey through your blog. Praying for all of you and especially for the day you will see your precious little Mei Li.
Best wishes. Rose Cooley

Allison said...

Cannot wait to see that sweet girl in your arms.
I just had to laugh at your description of the Great Wall. We went to that same section last year when we adopted our son. I had to carry our new son in a sling up those steps...and it was snowing! Definitely something I'll never forget.
Wishing safe travels to Shanghai!

White's Journey to Taiwan said...

OH MY GOODNESS, Allison! I cannot believe they took you to that section of The Wall in those weather conditions with a a baby in a sling!!!! They do NOT hold the same safety standards that we do in the U.S. !!! Haha!!! I guess people here don't sue people like they do back home.
I was telling Geoff, that I was glad we went a day early to The Wall, because rain was in the forecast the next day. And, that would have been treacherous in the rain. It was treacherous enough on a dry day!!! WOW!!! SNOW????? You are one brave woman :)