Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Dream of a Lifetime!

Today I accomplished a dream of a lifetime...walking on the GREAT Wall.
A driver picked us up from the airport and surprised us by saying that
we were going straight to the Wall because we were already part way
there. My walking shoes were at the bottom of a suitcase but we just
went for it anyway! It took about an hour to get where we think Shawni
and Dave must have been because it was exactly as they had described. A
rickety little chair lift (which they had called a cable car so I wasn't
even worried until I saw them) and a crazy Alpine slide on the way down.
It was INCREDIBLE! It was 50 degrees and the sun was shining, after
these poor people having been in a deep freeze for weeks! The wall was
begun in 1450 B.C so we were walking on something that was started 3400
years ago. How in the world they did it is just beyond belief. Tonight
we had a very intimate dinner party on the 50th floor of a very famous
club overlooking the huge, beautiful but smoggy Beiuing with only 12
YPOers because many of their members weren't back from holiday yet and
they were a small chapter anyway. They were terrific but the best thing
was that they gave us a wonderful book about the history of the Great
Wall, signed by the author who had been one of their previous speakers
this year. I can't wait to read it and show it to you!
Our driver could speak VERY little English, but at least more that we
could speak Chinese. He kept talking about the Great War and we kept
wondering which war he meant until we finally realized that he was
actually saying The Great Wall! He was so cute though and a great
laugher. He MADE us get out a take a picture by this big rock that said
George Bush (Sr.) had been there in 1990. My battery died just as we
got to the top of a ridge but we got some good ones anyway. It was so
exciting to do something I'd wanted to do all my life. HOW did we get
so lucky? The only thing that could have been better would be to have
you here with us. This was a day to remember! We also drove past a lot
of the Olympic Venues, although those pictures are on Dad's camera since
mine died. This city is being turned upside down in rapid growth BUT to
show you how fast it's growing...only 5% of the growth is from the
Olympic venues. In contrast, Salt Lake growth during the run up to the
big event was 50% because of the Olympics.
Hope all is well wherever you are! We're headed for the Forbidden City
and Tianenaman Square tomorrow. More pictures of this great adventure
Max and Elle, we're dying to know how you all got down from the
mountain. Did Claire ride down on the sled with someone or did she go
back down on the chair lift. How did you like it? Now that we've been
here, we're dying to hear the details again!
Love you'. You're always in our prayers!
P.S. So far we haven't seen any of the 9 million bicycles in Beijing.
...maybe tomorrow!

2007-02-20 Shanghai and Beijing 121 2007-02-20 Shanghai and Beijing 116 2007-02-20 Shanghai and Beijing 123

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