Our latest big trip was to China. Mr. Tattered and I were both slightly nervous, given the tremendous language barrier and that it is a Communist country, and we weren’t sure how we would be received.
But, it was our 7th continent, and a biggie on our bucket list.
Truth be told, it was more like something to check off our list, than it was a place we were super excited about visiting. That made how much we enjoyed it all the more special. We both came home feeling like it had been our best trip EVER!
And now, how to show you the majesty of China in a few posts, is a challenge. I don’t want to bore you to death, but I DO want to show you what an incredible and diverse place it is.
I’ve decided that rather than break it down day by day, I’ll go with area by area (pretty much city, by city, although some of the photos will be from outlying areas rather than right in the city.)
By way of background, let me say we were welcomed by the people with pretty much open arms. In China, their elders are respected and well loved. We felt similarly elevated. Even with language such an issue, we were encouraged to join in with locals as they went about their activities. Never did we feel like we were intruding or unwelcome. Our clumsy attempts at speaking a few words in their language were met with big smiles.
Often our group was photographed by Chinese tourists, and many times we were asked to be in selfies with them! I felt like a movie star. Children, especially, seemed drawn to my silver hair.
So, on to our experience in Beijing.
Our first view of the Great Wall as we flew in.
The local beer and wine were surprisingly good.
On our first day there, before connecting with our group, we went out exploring on our own. I fell in love with the statues in the shopping area. A clothing shop had one of a tailor, a bakery had a baker out front…very fun.
My biggest goal was to avoid using a squatie potty. Although I probably SHOULD have tried, I was afraid I’d pee all over my clothes! As it turned out, there were western style toilets almost everywhere.
Watching one of the opera performers put on his makeup was interesting…
Who knew I’d fall in love with Fu Dogs (the statues that guard buildings.)
The air was much as we expected it would be…so sad. We wore our masks whenever we thought we’d be exerting ourselves.
Our tour took us to a less busy section of the Great Wall, a little more difficult to get to, and a higher entrance fee, but well worth it. We were very surprised to NOT see wall to wall people!
Off to a spectacular start!