Thursday, September 30, 2010

Northeast Asia Trip- Great Wall of China

March 16,  2010- Great Wall of China (Day 12)
After a rough night with no sleep because of being sick, I didn't think I could get on the bus and ride another few hours further to see the Great Wall. But this was my one chance, so I just did it. Of course now I am very glad I did, but at the time all I wanted to do was crawl in bed. 
We went to the Juyongguan Pass section of the Great Wall which is somewhere around 50 miles or so from Beijing. Because of the HORRIBLE traffic around Beijjing, however, it took quite a while to get there. We were on one of first tourist buses to arrive there for the day since we went so early....after a few hours of being there, however, there got to be a large amount of people. Since it snowed the day before we got there, there was only one side of the Wall you could walk on as the other side was a pile of snow and ice. It was pretty dangerous actually. 

Me and D before actually climbing the wall. This shot is taken a flight of stairs down from the wall...which is explains how we're actually standing on flat ground. If you look at the first picture, you can see the wall is actually more like stairs most of the time....and you can also see the snow/ice on half of it.

Chinese-English translations are always funny to me.

After this, we left the Great Wall and headed back to Beijing to see the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is actually made of up of 3 buildings, 2 Halls and 1 circular building. Back in the day, the emperor would go to the circular building once or twice a year to pray for a good harvest. Others would go to the other 2 halls to pray. Today, the entire place is obviously a tourist attraction with the circular building being the main attraction. The circular building is 100% wood...meaning it was built without the use of any metal nails. Pretty remarkable for that circular structure. These days the other 2 halls are filled with locals playing games, singing songs, and just hanging out. It's kinda like an open air community center.
 In the pic above, the locals are playing a game akin to hackey sack. The "hackey sack" was made of some plastic rings stacked up and joined together with colorful feathers sticking out the top.

 More locals playing card games sitting in one of the halls at the Temple of Heaven.

This man was more than happy to continue his dancing and singing as I snapped his pic!

Me & D in front of the circular prayer building. It's beautiful. Do I think that it really helped the emperors to actually enter that building to pray for a good harvest? Nope. If they were God's children they could pray to Him anywhere. Of course, those emperors weren't praying to THE almighty Jehovah God Almighty. No, they were praying to the gods of harvest, rain, sun, etc. So I'm pretty sure their prayers fell on deaf or technically dead/non-living ears.

 Here's the inside of the building. It's 100% dark in there, so sorry for the bad photo quality.

Look how gorgeous! Yes, I'm talking about my gorgeous hubs and also the beautiful colors the wood of the circular building of prayer at the Temple of Heaven. I think my DH looks like a model. Dont you? :)

Next and Last Stop...Shanghai, China

to be continued...
(did you miss the beginning of our trip to Asia? Click HERE to view)

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