After a night with little sleep, we began our tour with a trip to the Beijing Olympic park used in 2008. We saw the Bird's Nest arena and the Water Cube. These are the two most famous of the Olympic venues.
Afterwards, we went to the jade museum. Jade is a type of special rock that is found in China. Long ago, only the rulers of China were allowed to have jade. But now, everyone can possess jade. It comes in a variety of colors, from white to lavender.
Horses have special meaning in China. They are a sign of prosperity. Many sculptures of horses are available. Mr. Z tried to buy one but they are very expensive. Instead, I had my picture taken with several.
After the museum, we went to the Ming tombs. 13 of the 16 emperors are buried there in their own special spaces. The structures are huge. How they built them way back in the 1400s is beyond belief.
Next on the tour was a visit to a factory that makes cloisonné. That is copper items covered with enamel. It is very beautiful. Items from pens to large vases are made in the factory. Workers mold copper wire and place in on the item. Then the enamel is dropped in the areas with an eye dropper. Once done, the item is heated to 800 degrees to melt the enamel. It is done up to six or seven times until the spaces are filled. Mr. Z bought a small green horse to display in his office along with a silk ink sketch of more horses.
Our last stop was at the Great Wall in Juyongguan. We were able to walk on a small section of the 4000 total miles of the wall. It was a rough walk with many sections being steps made of rock. The wall was built to protect the area from invaders over 1000 years ago.