These China recap posts will be picture heavy. I just need to get them posted so we have them.
It has been fun editing the images and looking at them in hind sight, remembering where we were only a little over a month ago. The kiddos that didn't go, have had fun seeing where we were, and the kiddos that did go have had fun rehashing all the details.
|The drive to the Great Wall started on a drizzly day. But as we climbed in elevation the rain eventually gave way to snow flurries. The roads were lined with poplars. We were told by our driver, that the tress were planted by the Chinese government to try to reduce air pollution. I'm not sure if the trees made a significant dent in the pollution problem. The air pollution was the worst I had ever seen.|
|Is it a shovel? is it a broom? Is it a snowplow? Yes, it's a universal tool!|
These people obviously weren't used to snowy conditions. It was amusing to see the wide variety of homemade tools used to shovel snow. Most common we saw a piece of plywood attached to a 2x4. Here a man used a twig broom to sweep the snow away.
|There are many sections of the Great Wall open to tourists. The section we visited was call Mutianyu. It is a smaller section not open to tour buses.|
|There was a LOT of this going on on our way up to the wall. This was one of about 50 cars we came across that was stuck and likely slipping backwards. Not that we want to perpetuate the whole "Asian driver" stereo type. But it was bad! The smaller tour vans were not cut out for slippery conditions and these folks had little experience in snowy slippery driving conditions. At this moment, it was just faster for us to get out and walk past all the cars that were trying to make it up the final incline. This was only a couple inches of snow. But it wreaked havok with the local.|
|The higher we climbed to the wall, the more snow there was. At the entrance there was only a dusting up to an inch. At the actual wall there was about 3-4 inches. |
|The final steps to the wall.|
|I fit into the "special" category.|
|The low lying clouds and weather made the wall very mystical feeling and dreamy. We heard that snow on the Wall is considered good luck. We felt very lucky to have been there with this rare weather.|
|The step on the wall were very very steep. Coupled with a couple inches of snow, it was incredibly slippery.|
|A kiss on the Wall! So amazingly romantic!|
|On our way out, Patch was sure to take the opportunity to make a snow angel.|
|Papa dubbed these steps the "Hillary steps" as only 1 person at a time would go up or down them because of the conditions. Coming down the steps, people were being pelted with snow balls. Old, young, no matter the nationality, everyone who went down was a target of snowballs when coming down the steps. We participated in a 20 min snowball fight with people who couldn't speak each other's languages and were from many nations. Everyone seems to be full of smiles and joyful. It was an amazing moment.|
|We stopped at the bottom for coffee and hot chocolate. Or maybe we had tea.|