Jan 28, 2012
What a great start to the day. Woke up at 5.45am ready for our big tour day to find out that we weren't leaving until 7.30am. We decided to go to the bakery to get breakfast and some coffee. The coffee was good! At 7.30am 3 coaches arrived outside the coffee shop which all 150 people crammed into. On the coach we had a tour guide who would not stop taking. According to him, the Chinese discovered America before Columbus did. Raise your hand if you knew that? No? Didn’t think so. The first place we arrived at was the Ming tombs. Honestly, wasn’t what I expected. It was a big room with a lot of information in. This was about it. After walking around this one room we headed back to the coach where a little old lady was collecting our empty bottles. Most people felt bad for her and purposely emptied their bottles to give to her. Everyone back on the coach we headed further out of Beijing to a part of the Great Wall of China called Baodaling. When we stopped we were told that there was an easy route and a hard route, both went in opposite directions. Unaware of what I was about to let myself in for we opted for the hard side. 10 steps up we knew we had made a mistake. The steps were so high I found myself kneeling to get up them. Every few steps I was taking off layers of clothing. It was the biggest work out I think I have ever done. Most people dropped out half way up and I really couldn’t blame them. If I wasn’t so stubborn I probably would have too. It wasn’t until two girls past me when I thought that I was not going to be beaten. Finally after 1 and a half hours of constant climbing we saw the top. The view was epic. There is no way to describe how amazing it looked, I’m so glad that it was a clear day as well. We explored around the top a bit before heading back down. Just as we turned to descend, an Indian man asked us to take a picture of him on the wall. We said yes and asked him to take a photo of us too. He took one photo but Oliver wanted another. As he was about to take the other Oliver got down on one knee, pulled a ring from his pocket and proposed. This is the only time in my life when I have ever been speechless. The ring was so shiny as well, I was mesmerised. It wasn’t until Oliver asked me again when I realised that I hadn’t given him an answer. Obviously it was a big YES! The tears rolling down my face quickly froze because of the cold. The Indian man couldn’t believe what he’d just seen and insisted on taking a picture with us and telling everyone who passed what had just happened. Realising that we were late for the coach we quickly started our trek back. As we had told everyone on the internship that we were already engaged before we came to China, we decided to only tell Jill and Brian who knew we weren’t. Jill ran to the front of the coach and told someone who announced it to everyone. Ooopsy. From the Wall we drove to a restaurant which looked like it was in the middle of nowhere. Here everyone congratulated us and we sat down for lunch. On the menu this time was Fish balls, Dumplings, Sweet and sour Chicken and a whole fish that looked like it had just been caught, set on fire, been pasted in mould and served. Yuck, not even Oliver liked it. The restaurant was on top of a tourist shopping centre, so we went and had a look around. There we found a vase worth 860,000Kuai, if you had this amount of money would you really spend it on a vase? No, no one would, nobody likes vases that much. We found our names written in Chinese though, they also have on the back what our names mean. Oliver stands for Olympic win morning. Mine stands for elegant silk jade stone. From the restaurant, shopping centre thing we boarded the coach again for the birds nest stadium. We didn’t have much time here but we are planning on going back on Thursday. Next destination on our tour was to watch a Chinese acrobat show. Possibly the most amazingly weird thing I have ever seen. It was bonkers. People standing on other people, hand stand back flipping off other people and jumping through hoops. Just across the road was where we were eating tea. More congratulations. We sat down for literally 3 minutes before food started flowing out onto our tables. This was a constant flow of everything from Peking duck, Crispy beef, gelatine cubes (disgusting) to some eel, beef soup thing. Out of the ten people on our table only one person liked the soup thing. I was more than happy to give him my half. Feeling absolutely knackered physically and emotionally we decided to call it a day and celebrate another night. Our 20 hour course starts tomorrow so yet again another early morning. At least I get to wake up to the shiny rock on my finger.