Beijing Day Three! – The day with the Temple of Heaven, The Great Wall of China, and a wild toboggan ride!

Mom was sleepy, jet lag was still ruling my sleep schedule, and Dad always gets up early anyway, so around 6 am he and I set out to explore the Temple of Heaven Park. We caught a cab down to the park to find the actual Temple closed until 8, but there was more than enough activity to amuse us for a bit. There was a huge park filled with trees, pathways, and people exercising. Literally, hundreds of people doing various forms of exercise and enjoying each other’s company. Weird, isn’t it?! Sure, for us lazy Americans, but for this industrious culture, it’s the norm.

    

Tai Chi and Fan Dancing in the park

     

Stretching, Badminton or Water Calligraphy, your choice! 

 Instead of joining in the exercises, we did what any red-blooded American would do.

We dressed up in period-style costumes and took ridiculous pictures.

      

Photoshoot Prep

     

Princess and Emperor of… Florida? (Empress Mommy will have to be photoshopped in later)

We were such a bizarre site that the tour bus that pulled up to tour the temple took the time to take pictures with us, a la Mickey at Disney. Equally unlikely- A huge mouse walking around in shorts = Americans in traditional Chinese garb. Hilarious.

     

The tour group member getting a shot with dad and the crowd that had accumulated to watch

We weren’t entirely inactive that morning- we were invited to play some paddleball in the park with some people that ended up being paddleball sellers- convienent!

Dad playing paddleball- go Dad!

 We ran around the rest of the Temple of Heaven rather quickly, as we had a 10 am rented car to the Great Wall of China to catch!

Dad and I at the Temple of Heaven, or, as I know it, the China Pavilion at Epcot!

We made it back just in time for our rented car, and enjoyed the pleasant hour and a half ride out to the Great Wall. We decided to go to a spot called Mu Tian Yu, because Lonely Planet says there’s less tourists there.

 Proof that I can’t escape my work- even in China.

(A sign at a hotel that wants to encourage it’s guests to not worry, apparently!) 

   

On the way we saw people laying their rice crops out on the road to dry

We found the wall, but first, we had to face the gauntlet of souvenir shops. How fifty of the same exact shops survive selling the same exact “I climbed the Great Wall” shirts in every color I will never understand….

Mom braving the souvenir stalls

The wall was perched atop a ridge and shrouded in smog. It’s funny, all the pictures of the Great Wall I’ve seen has that smog or haze, and I always thought it was an early morning fog, or some sort of mysterious high altitude fog. Now that I’ve seen it for myself, I understand it to be coal-fired-power-plant-and-car-pollution-smog. Apparently ambiance = lung cancer. Ew.

But truly, still a wonderful and beautiful place to visit.

      

The Great Wall and My Great Family!

     

Views from the top!

We rode a gondola up one side and looked around a bit and rode it back down. There was another gondola up another section of the wall, so we rode that one up and then did the only sensible thing to do next- we slid down a mile long metal slide all the way down the mountain. Yes. Giant. Slide.

     

Mom and I on the second gondola (actually more like a ski lift) – Mom and Dad ready to Slide!!

Mom was really apprehensive at first, but afterwards she loved the experience. Her favorite part was the recorded warnings at each turn which said “Slow Down. LEARN into the curve.” Hilarious.

With a sign reading “Slow Down,” my dad is seen waving his hat joyfully in the air, gleefully disregarding the sign. 

After we had some lunch, we rode back to Beijing and hit the Pearl Market, a popular place to bargain shop for tourists and locals alike. We had lots of fun haggling for an iPhone case for mom, and a UV filter for my camera lens! It was certainly a full and fun day in Beijing!

     

 Kites for sale outside the Pearl Market – Mom and Dad peruse the wares before striking a deal

~ ~ ~

More pictures, if you can stand it!

     

Backstage at Dad’s photoshoot – The Temple of Heaven

    

Views from around the Temple grounds

     

The Temple of Heaven and a cute little girl with shoes that squeak when she runs!

     

The gondola up the wall, and the view from the top!

    

Another view from the top of the wall, and me making a fool of myself in China. What’s new?

     

I found a ladybug on my sunglasses- that’s good luck! So’s this little kitten I found near the base of the wall. SO cute!

The longest emergency number, ever. “Quick! Dial 010-6162… what was it again?”

      

Dad in the gondola to the slide, and the view from the slide side

The sign reads “Welcome to the mutinau’s Great Wall next time.” 

 

People spreading rice out to dry on the roads on the way back to Beijing

My favorite image of the day- Daddy on the slide with hat in hand, whooping it up!

~ ~ ~

– All Images are Copyright Selena Moshell Photography 2012 –

– All rights reserved –

– Please do not use or republish images without written permission –

~ It helps if you say please! =) ~

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