The Great Wall

Trip Start Jun 03, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of China  ,
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alarm sounded off at 7 a.m. this morning. I got ready quickly and quietly to not disturb my roommate. I went down to the cafeteria to get Ada and I breakfast to go. Shortly thereafter, I met her at the gate.

We walked to the subway station near Joy City and went to an area near her father's office. He picked us up there and we drove to the Great Wall. I enjoyed the drive, seeing the city change into green, lush mountains. It was great when the Wall came into view.

We went to the Badaling section. There, we took a gondola up to the top and then walked back down. The line for the gondola took nearly two hours. In pictures of the Great Wall, you usually only see a person here, a couple people there. No. I don't know where those pictures were taken, but that's not at all what it's like. It's quite literally, "wall-to-wall people."

Just prior to getting in the gondola line, it started to rain, so we got some ponchos. The weather was great. The temperature was cool, and the rain was light. The only bad thing was that it affected the visibility.

After the Great Wall, we went to the area of the 13 Tombs. It's where 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty are buried. But first we needed to eat lunch. So we went to KangLing Village. There, at a house we got a tablefull of different dishes for 30 kuai/person. Since it's an agricultural area, everything was really fresh and delicious: boiled quail eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, pigs arm (?), cabbage, pickled vegetables, salad, corn zhou (soup), another soybean soup, tortilla-like things, egg pancake, pigs' ears, and probably more than I can't think of. It was great.

Upstairs, they're building rooms for lodging. The doors and ceiling are amazing. By the stairs there were three little bird cages with pretty little birds in them. Across from the front door is an 800 year-old ginko tree; it's HUGE.

We then went to the tomb that is the most well known. The geographic area is gorgeous. The coffins and the thrones inside the tomb were covered in money. It is thought that if you give the emperor and/or his empresses some money you will be rich. Ada and I took turns giving money to the emperor. I gave some to one of the empresses, just for good measure and girl power.

When leaving the area, you go through a gate and you have to stomp your feet twice, clap three times and say, "I'm leaving." So that the world of the dead stays behind and does not follow you into the world of the living. I hope they understand English. Ada said it in Chinese AND English just to be sure it was understood. :)

We then drove back to the city and they dropped me off. Ada had to get my train tickets so she could exchange our return ticket for Sunday instead of Monday. After she left with her father, I then went to the underground grocery store to some noodles and snacks for our train ride tomorrow. Now I have to pack.

The good news of the day is that I will have a job at another school waiting for me on Monday. I will have no time to prepare, but beggars can't be choosers.
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