Cameras, applause, acclaim, ouuus and ahhhhhs were all about ISTP students today. It's amazing to see what our students bring to the world....happiness! There were no sour looks, no shakes, only smiles and photo opportunities. When we put the photographs of the trip up for you to see, you'll wonder who some of the people are in the picture. They're people of Beijing wanting to stand with us, wanting to have a photo with us, wanting to have us in their photo, etc. We were obviously Hollywood material and they knew it!
We started our day a bit early and a few of us had a brisk walk to see "Beijing wake up". Lots of interesting bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, three-wheelers, three wheelers turned into sort of mini vans, etc. going off to work. Many canines were out with their owners for morning doggie walks. Shops were opening up with waiters and waitresses inviting us into their establishment.
At the King's Joy Hotel we enjoyed a "west meets east" breakfast buffet and headed onto the bus. We first drove for about an hour to the Great Wall of China. It was a "great" wall by all meanings of the word. We climbed to four towers on a fairly steep climb, enjoying the view of the wall and the surroundings. It's breathtaking. One cannot even begin to imagine a thousand mile wall much less be right there to see and hike up remnants of major portions.
We did experience the public toliet and comforted each other accordingly.
We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant where the children were put in groups of about four - each with a teacher. The children needed to come up with a lunch for a certain amount of money that would be shared by the group. The menu was extensive and written in Chinese. After a bit of time, the children ordered their wishes and all came up with a variety of good food. Their selections were yummy including bean curd dumplings, vegetable dumplings, pork dumpling, chicken stir fry, young spinach, etc., chicken cumin wings, rice, and carmelized pineapple
After lunch we went to the Olympic plaza and saw the bird nest structure from the 2008 Olympics. The children played relay races here and did some crazy human pretzel tricks while singing. (It's a game put to song where you stand in a circle with each person supporting the other person's leg, and then you hop on one foot.) This was the hit of the day for our avid and determined followers.
We went to a theatre to see a Chinese acrobat show that was made of visions from Cirque to Soleil, Circus Circus in Las Vegas, and Circus Vargus. Seven people on individual motocycles whizzing around in a metal ball was pretty mouth dropping! The colorful costumes were superior.
By the time we made it back to the hotel via our bus, many people were already under the night time sandman influence and were "out cold". We managed to wake everyone and get them into the dining room before going off to bed.
Tomorrow we will leave the hotel, do more sightseeing here in Beijing, and take the Night train to Ninjing