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Day 3 (17.03.2006)
After breakfast at about 8 o'clock we drove to the Great Wall. We chose to the see the Great Wall at Juyongguan and not Badaling. The other people from our group were so kind to let me always sit on the frontseat and so I had a good view and could make many photos. So I could also see much of the city itself. The new districts and the streets did not differ much from other cities. But there are for example much more tower blocks than in Germany. In China there are many bicycle drivers and many of them have got trailers to transport something with their bike. The traffic in Chinese cities is very big. On the way to the Great Wall we drove to a jade factory. This factory produces jade works of art and sells them. One can find here small works of art and also beautiful and big works of art which are very expensive.
Our trip went on and soon we saw mountains on the left and the right side of the highway. After a few kilometres we saw the Great Wall on these mountains. The dimensions of the Great Wall and how it appears are unique. The Great Wall, in its present-day form, is from the 15th century (Ming Dynasty). In this time the Great Wall was 9000 km long and today it is 6000 km long. The Great Wall was a protection against attacks of steppe peoples (for example Mongols) from the north. We got out of our van and now we could go onto the Great Wall. At the bottom of the mountain and also higher on the Great Wall there are some buildings with curved roofs (typical Chinese) which are more magnificent than the normal watchtowers of the Great Wall. Our tour guide stayed at the bottom of the mountain. So we climbed up the Great Wall ourselves and some stairway steps were very steep. I climbed 975 stairway steps. After one and a half hour we met again at the bottom of the mountain. I let made a jade stamp with my Chinese name in seal script.
The Great Wall
The Great Wall
After that we drove for the first time through rural territories. It was very interesting to see rural territories in China. For lunch we drove to the Friendship Store (Youyi Shangdian). After that we drove to the Thirteen Ming Tombs. The Ming Emperor Zhu Di (builder of the Forbidden City) let build the Thirteen Ming Tombs. All, except three, emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) are buried here. We visited the Ding Ling Tomb of Emperor Wanli which was built between 1584 and 1590. First from the distance we saw a nice building with a yellow roof. We went to this building and below this building there is the tomb. We went 27 m underground and here we could see the tomb. It consists of 5 rooms. After we left this tomb we went to another building where some works of art are exhibited. After that we took a walk on the Spirit Way which is the entrance to the Valley of the Thirteen Ming Tombs. On the left and on the right side of the Spirit Way there are stone figures of civil officials, military officials, horses, lions, elephants and camels.
The Ding Ling Tomb
A military official on the Spirit Way
After that we drove to a tea ceremony where we could taste and buy tea. Afterwards we drove to a restaurant and there we ate the famous Beijing Duck. After that one couple from our tourist group went to a theatre performance with Shaolin Monks. The our couple and me were too tired and we drove to the hotel.
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Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki
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Last Update: 03.08.2006