|From Day 7 - Great Wall and Ming Tombs|
Today, we had an earlier start because we were going to a further section of the Great Wall. After breakfast though, we stopped at one of the 13 tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors. We went to the largest and most visited tomb. It was pretty cool and we saw many of the Ming emperors' artifacts. 13 of the 16 Ming dynasty emperors are have tombs built in this area in the mountains.
We then stopped by a jade market where they showed us how to tell the difference between fake and real jade. Jamie and I bought a family piece. Let's hope they were telling us the truth. It is pretty anyway.
After a tasty lunch at a touristy trap area where we looked at hand painted Chinese vases, we headed toward the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. We took a cable car to the tower #14 and walked to tower #19. It was a hazy day, but it was simply breathtaking and wonderful. We discovered that the Great Wall was magnificent, but probably not really the great barrier that it was intended for. The large mountains around it seemed to be more of a deterrent to outside invaders than anything. After taking the cable car back down to the bottom, we had to walk the gauntlet of people selling us everything from table runners, to t-shirts, to chopsticks for 50 cents.
The van ride back was only about an hour and a half and we went straight to a Chinese acrobatic performance. We were tired, but the performance was entertaining. It was mostly performed by teenagers, so that made it all the more impressive. The show lasted about an hour and we were off to a tasty meal for dinner. They served us a whole fish which was delicious. We were told it was like a carp.
Great day overall as it was the day we walked on the Great Wall of China.