JUNE 13, 2012
The City Wall of Xi’an surrounds the square inner part of the city. It is the most complete city wall to survive in China and is also one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It is also about ten miles around and we are biking it!
First the climb up the wall.
We get our bikes and were off!
A traditional display.
Sights from the wall…
We made it!
JUNE 13, 2012
On the morning of day eight of our China adventure, we leave the Great Wall and head for the Beijing airport where we will catch our next flight to Xi’an (sounds like “she un”). This city served as the capital for ten ancient imperial dynasties. I came across a saying about its historical significance: “Go to Shanghai and you will find a 100-year-old China; go to Beijing and you will find a 1000-year-old China; go to Xi’an and then you will find 3000 year-old China.”. Together with Athens, Cairo and Rome, Xi’an is among the four major ancient civilization capitals of the world.
Images from our hotel. We’re ready to see Xi’an!
We descend the Great Wall and head to the School House, a local bed and breakfast consisting of individual cottages.
Our home for the night…
We enjoy dinner at the School House restaurant and talk about our amazing day seven!
The long anticipated visit to the Great Wall has arrived! We are seeing the Mutianyu section of the wall. It’s about an hour and a half outside of Beijing. This northern section of the Great Wall served as a barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The wall is 7-8.5 meters high and 4-5 meters wide and is made mostly of granite.
We take chairlifts up
and we’ll eventually toboggan down.
Our excitement rises with the chairlift.
View from the top.
Stewart and Kim came up with the “SMARTE” (like smartie) Tour as the name for our adventure….Stephanie, Ming, Alex, Ryan, Tyler and Eric. The SMARTE Tour made it to the Great Wall!
These openings in the wall are shaped this way because it’s more difficult for an attacker to get an arrow through this shape from the outside, therefore protecting the defender on the wall shooting arrows out of it.
Watchtowers are more densely placed along the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall – 22 watchtowers along this 2,250 meter stretch. This is a window from inside one of the watchtowers.
“Loyal to Chairman Mao”
Now that we’ve mastered Taichi and Kung fu, we move on to Chinese yoyo-ing.
The pedi-cabs take us through hutong, traditional alley ways.
JUNE 12, 2012
People in China regularly spend part of their morning participating in some type of morning exercise or activity. We start our day in a beautiful park at the Temple of Heaven where we watch the locals and meet the instructor for our private Taichi and Kung Fu lessons.
Playing a paddle and birdie game
Time for our lesson…
The Temple of Heaven is a place where emperors would visit for the annual ceremonies of prayers to heaven for a good harvest.
The Beijing Donghuamen Night Market….Not for the faint of heart.
Mango smiley faces.
Looks good so far. Until….
Apparently, Alex hasn’t gotten enough scorpion in his diet.
Well, at least he has variety in his diet.
In the evening we enjoy a show called The Legend of Kungfu. It’s a story about a boy who dreams of being a Kungfu Master told by professional martial arts actors and real Kungfu actions.
The show is presented in the Red Theatre in Beijing.
One of the young martial arts actors in the show.
We explore the Summer Palace with a boat ride on Kunming Lake.
After a Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, we head to lunch at a restaurant in a converted traditional Chinese courtyard home.
but first a quick nap on the way.
Old meets new.
These images of the Phoenix and the dragon are used to represent the bride and groom in Chinese marriage.