Beijing: Day 1
05.10.2015 22 °C
Our first three days in Beijing are in Hotel Jen -a new and beautiful 5 star hotel. Everyday will start with a 6:30 am call. We had an excellent buffet to start the day with lots of energy that carried us through the morning. The morning expedition took us out of the city towards the Great Wall of China which was originally built in 220 BC and then restored in the Beijing area recently. The first stop was at a Jade factory. This gem is very famous in the history of China. It was carved into so many beautiful jewelry pieces and objects that are part of China's culture. Upon reaching the Wall, our climb up the steps from the valley was a very challenging undertaking since the step heights varied greatly. That section of the wall rose about 700 steps above the valley. We took some beautiful pictures of the wall that followed the profile of the mountain. On our way down to the valley we stopped to do a Tai Chi set which felt so appropriate on this wall. Judy decided to climb the steep section on the other side of the valley and got up to the first lookout level.
Our next stop was at a Cloisonne factory which is enamel ware usually used for decorative vases and plates. The core of the products are molded copper. The girls use thin copper wire which is very accurately shaped to the pattern design and glued to the vases where there will be any change in colour. The colors are mixed and added. After a baking process the vase is ready for final polishing. They had many beautiful pieces on display.
After lunch we stopped along the way for picture-taking of some of the 2008 Summer Olympic site buildings- the birds nest which housed the opening and closing ceremonies and the water cube which was used for the swimming and diving sports. There was a very tall building that looked like 5 olympic torches but they call it The Five Nails.
The absolute best experience so far was the Golden Mask Dynasty show which included outstanding dancing, acrobatics,costumes, background scenery and a fantastic waterfall display that covered the whole stage. The show was created by the same person that created the 2008 Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies.
Our supper was at a famous 100 year old restaurant that has the best Peking Duck meal. A chef carved a duck at each of the tables for us.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped to view a covered LED screen that was 250 x 30 meters that could display one huge display or smaller individual scenes