Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good Bye!

Monday morning was our last day so we went to the zoo in first thing with our friendly tour guide, Mr. Su, and then headed to the massive Beijing airport (a destination in itself!).

The impressively efficient check-in area.

We flew to Seoul and spent the night and got up early to catch a flight to Atlanta. (Which ended up being somewhat stressful due to a very long check-in line--they could use a tutorial from the Chinese!). We arrive at our gate as they were boarding.
And so ended our incredible trip!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Great Wall and The Forbidden City

On our second day in Beijing we went to the Great Wall which is about a two hour car ride outside of Beijing. That was probably my favorite site because I had seen so many pictures of it and I finally saw it with my own eyes. It looked exactly like all the pictures I had seen. :) We took a cable car to the top of the mountain and the Great Wall wove its way on top of the surrounding mountains.

This is one of my favorite shots. It was extremely cloudy and rainy that day but just as we got to the wall the clouds cleared somewhat and I snapped this photo.
Emily in front of one of the many guardhouses. Thankfully these guard houses were fairly frequent so we could escape the rain.
That afternoon we headed to Tain'men Square and the Forbidden City.
Of course we had to take a family photo in front of Chairman Mao's portrait.

Me in front of one of the many Gates. The scale of these structures is hard to capture in photos. They are enormous. It's incredible to consider these were built hundreds of years ago with no power tools, or industrial equipment of any kind.

First day in Beijing

We arrived in Beijing at 5:30am. We quickly realized the Beijing airport is MASSIVE. Everything seems wide open and so is your jaw.

This is the center of one of the terminals.
We arrived out our hotel around 7:30am. Since we had been up almost all night we took a nap and then just hung out around the hotel.
A street in Beijing.
Before dinner we did some grocery shopping, or so we thought. Obviously everything was in chinese so we bought by the way things looked. All the clerks yelled so they could sell their products. And the the store was three stories. Quite an experience!

In the seafood sections we found squid, turltes, jellyfish, and other unidentifiable meats.

Since the writing was in Chinese, we weren't sure what were in these boxes, but we think they were dried caterpillars. And they must be a delicacy in Chinese because they were behind class and cost a couple hundred dollars a box.

One of the girls selling Ramen Noodles. Dad asked if he could take her picture--we were amused. She really wasn't.

Boodz and Delays

Here I am learning how to make "boodz". They are basically dumplings, except Odono (our dear friend pictured with me) is incredible at making them.

Here they are finished!! And we ate up every last one.
We went to the mall one day and here it is. Doesn't look like an American mall does it?
On our last night Mom and Dad received a gift of traditional mongolian outfits called dells! The cutiepie in the picture is Odono's grandson and was the center of attention. :)
Here we are at 3am at the airport. Our flight was supposed to leave at 11:45am but it was delayed till midnight. Then at midnight it was delayed again till 3:30am. So we hung out at our friends' house till 1am and then left. Most likely it was delayed because the flight was not full enough so they wanted more passengers. And one funny thing was that since the flight was supposed to leave at lunchtime they still had to use the food--so we had lunch at 4am!