Cloisonné Factory, Kung Fu and Great Wall

Beijing Travel Blog

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This morning we went to the Cloisonné factory to see how the pots are made. It was really neat to see how they make them all by hand. They pound the copper into a shape then take the copper wire and sauter it on. Then they fill it in with special paint powder and fire it twice. Then they sand it down and polish it. All by hand, very impressive. We got to try the painting part out. It felt a lot like color by number. It would certainly take a lot of patients. Of course, as always with P2P trips, they brought us stupid suckers straight to the store after to buy some of the very impressive pottery we just saw made. Sheep. Well, I fell into the trap and bought earrings and two bracelets. Dammit.

          We then headed to the Kung Fu School.

I loved this. The older students (maybe 17-18) put on a performance for us. They were crazy good. Flipping all over the place, breaking metal rods on their heads, laying on beds of nails, bending wires around their necks. Of course I love the tumbling the most. After the show, they brought us outside and taught us a combination. It was fun to learn, although I didn't have the best teacher in my group. He just kept doing moves and there wasn�t any rhyme or reason to it. The other group has numbers and counts. There were mini kung fu students around too. They were so cute and quite good. I took lots of photos of them.

          After lunch we headed towards the Great Wall. When you leave the downtown part of Beijing large mountains start popping up out of nowhere.

You probably could see them if it wasn't so smoggy. We were able to start seeing parts of the wall go by. It was very exciting. We went a little farther to get to the good part of the wall. I was disappointed that we were only given one hour to climb. So we rushed out to try to get as far as possible. We found very quickly that it wasn't that easy. This sucker was steep! The parts that had stairs were all uneven and other parts were decaying. Understandable from a 2000 year old wall. We made it up to the peak of one mountain, enough to get some good photos. I wished we could have had more time to go farther. At any rate, it was a great experience and I think I got some good photos.

          When we got back to the hotel reality had set in for a few kids that had been spending their money like crazy. Some were already out and couldn't figure out how to use their pre-paid money cards. I had to loan money to one kid and others started borrowing from each other. It is amazing how they don't listen to our warnings and then get upset when what we told them was going to happen, does.

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Water Cube
Water Cube
Birds nest
Bird's nest
Jill is actually reading!
Jill is actually reading!
photo by: Deats