Saturday, September 4, 2010

Olympic Fever

Today was a full day.  We slept well, although we were up early, at around 5:00a.m., because we are still adjusting to the new time zone.  We went down to breakfast (if you want to know what I ate today then just read yesterday's blog entry) and joined our group at 8:00a.m. to start our tours.  We drove about one hour to our first stop.  It was a government certified/operated jade factory.  It was interesting to see items actually being made, although not interesting enough to cause us to buy anything.  Sorry, girls and ladies, no trinkets this time around.  From there, we drove about 30 more minutes to the base of an entrance to The Great Wall.  Our guide took us to a "real" section---"real" in the sense that it did not have any elevators or escalators--only your "physical factors" to propel you up.  If you want to know how that went, check the blog from earlier this morning, which was actually sent from the top of The Great Wall.  Suffice it to say I thought I was going to die and had to buy a t-shirt to replace two sweat-stained shirts I had been wearing.  Getting passed by two 3-year olds only made the experience worse.  After that experience, we headed to another traditional Chinese lunch and shopping at an enamel vase factory--sorry everyone, no gifts here either.  From there, we head to the primary sites of the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing.  The facilities were built in a newer "ring" on the outskirts of Beijing and are as impressive in person as they were on television.  Things are actually quite close together--the athlete's housing is within a few blocks of the Water Cube, which is within a few blocks of the Bird's Nest.  There were lots of people just milling about, which is all we really did, even though I think tours are possible.  From there we progressed to a local theatre for an acrobatics show.  Think Tommy Bartlett's meets Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus meets Cats meets Robin Hood Men in Tights in a sticky, smoke-filled movie theater and the show will come into perspective for you.  After this experience, we headed back to our hotel and had for quick meal before returning to our room.  The dinner experience was marked by a crazy lady, who we are told, had just eaten three plates of shrimp before spewing/throwing food in anger.  We only saw her wolf down four bananas--I tried not to make eye contact because I did not think I could outrun her if she chose to attack.  We are back in our room, about to go to sleep, because we leave at 8:00a.m. Sunday morning to fly to Mack's province.  We hope all o fyou are doing well.  Love, Dave and Missy 

Blog Archive