More adventures and some *ahem* “technical” issues

14 09 2011

By Whitney

You guys probably noticed that the pictures did not show up in our previous post. WordPress is having some issues in China at the moment – of the kind that start with “B” and end with “locked”. We’ve got a workaround, but it leaves our picture functionality temporarily disabled until we figure out a direct Flicker plug-in workaround (oh, I love being married to a techie guy!). Until then, I’m posting links to my Flickr page that take you directly to photo sets of the places we talk about!

Let’s start with the Beijing Summer Palace – a beautiful property teeming with palace temples, gardens, pavilions, and a lake. A complete sanctuary in smoggy, bustling Beijing, it was amazing to escape to this beautiful place for half a day. We climbed to the top of a monastery for panoramic views of Beijing – a wonderful contrast of the new and the old. This being a major tourist attraction, they tried to charge us 50x what it cost us to get there (the taxi drivers at places like this are always beyond corrupt. I think taxi drivers are among the most corrupt people I’ve come across in my global travels). Unable to talk them down, we told them off and then used our hacked GPS phone app to show us to the local subway station. For $0.33 each, we arrived easily and safely back at our guesthouse!

For pictures of the summer palace, go here:

On our next to last day in Beijing, we got up before dawn to head to a remote and unrestored section of the Great Wall – Jinshanling. A grueling but spectacular 10 km hike, it was my favorite day so far in China. The pollution was gone, the sun was out, and there were so few tourists that we felt like we had it all to ourselves at times! The more touristy area that is closer to Beijing is often choked with people – and was completely rebuilt in the 1980s. Here, we hiked on the legitimate wall and towers – it was incredible to imagine what it must have been like to build and defend the wall. So much history, and such a ridiculous workout! Many sections we climbed (both up and down) were nearly vertical. I’m filing it under “Things I love that I’ve done, but am glad I’ll never do again” ;-).

For pictures from the Great Wall, go to:

Coming up: ancient Buddhist caves and a hanging monastery outside of Datong, our anniversary spent in the preserved ancient town of Pingyao, and behind the scenes looks at what it takes to eat, sleep, and travel as a foreigner in China (it’s a logistical feat, for sure!). Once we’ve fixed the picture issue, we’re also starting an amusing “Engrish” series of funny signs across China!




One response

16 09 2011

Yeah! Techie husbands rule!!

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