It's around 7:30 pm here, and our "Easter celebration" is almost over, although it didn't seem like Easter here. Nothing at all to suggest the Christian content of the day, although the hotel restaurant did have a display with colored eggs. I'll tell you more about how Jan and I celebrated the day in a moment.
The bus left the hotel around 8 am this morning for the Great Wall. It was about an hour and a half drive to a portion of the wall called the Badaling Great Wall. A gondola took us almost to the top where you could then get out and climb or descend as much as you like. Jan and I climbed a bit, but it's quite steep in spots and wore us out quickly. On the way down in the gondola, we finally got to celebrate the holy day that it was today. In the privacy of our car overlooking the scrubby brush of the rocky foothills of the Gobi Desert we sang "Jesus Christ is Risen Today! Alleluia!"
After our stay at the Great Wall, we drove back to Beijing and toured a cloisonne factory. Saw some very beautiful work. Our tour guide was a real hoot. Like many Chinese, he has taken an English first name. His name was "Herbie." "You know," he explained, "like the Love Bug." He also referred to himself in the first person, such as "Please follow Herbie now...Excuse me, Herbie must pass through here."
Sorry no pictures yet. I'm taking a good share of pictures and video. However, the computers here are not set up to upload images. Hopefully I can do so in Nanchang or Guangzhou. If not, I will have to wait until I get home and share them with you.
Jan and I are both feeling well so far. No "Mao's Revenge" if you know what I mean. Jan has forgotten twice and rinsed her toothbrush in the tap water, which you are not supposed to drink. Even the locals don't. Everyone drinks bottled or boiled water. Me, too...although I did have a Tsingtao Beer for dinner tonight.
Time to turn in. I'll try and post tomorrow again.