We did so well on our fist full day here, and I really thought we would have no issues adjusting to the time change / jet lag. Well, today it hit us HARD. Late last night we both started feeling a little queasy and thought maybe we ate something at dinner that we shouldn't have (James was the only one who ate the snails, so we couldn't blame that). We had a hard time sleeping and then had to be ready to leave for our tours by 8 am. We made it through breakfast just fine, but the rest of the day was tough. We checked with the families that had eaten with us - two of the poeple had the same exact meal as I did. They were feeling fine. We've been super careful not to drink the water, and have even boiled what we've used to brush our teeth. So with all of that considered, we decided it couldn't be a food related problem. Off we went, and the bus ride didn't help much. We sat in the very front seat, which was probably a good thing. We weren't really queasy anymore, just really, really tired. We brought along tons of drinks and spent the day drinking as much water as possible hoping that would reenergize us. Luckily, although we weren't feeling great, we were able to enjoy our touring and even climb a section of the GREAT WALL.
Our first stop was at the Cloissone Factory where they make these amazing vases, jewelry, and other things out of copper and then paint them with these beautiful and very intricate designs. The process was amazing to watch, and it literally takes days to complete each single piece because of all the polishing they have to do. We got to do a little shopping afterwards.
The next stop was the Great Wall. This was completely surreal - the whole time you're thinking "There's no way I'm really here." The views from the wall were breathtaking, and it was incredible to see it up close and see all the detail in it. It helps you realize how much work and time it took to put this thing together. We took a cable car up and then got to walk around a section of the wall. Did I mention it was absolutely freezing up there?? We have like four layers of clothes on and we still were freezing. Thankfully we had brought "hot hands". That really made a difference.
On our way back for the Great Wall we stopped at a local restaurant. It is a set menu and they bring the food to your table and put it on this giant lazy susan. Then the whole group gets to eat from each of the plates, just spinning it around and selecting what you would like. Of course, you get your own little plate to serve it on. Wish I could tell you how the food was, but James and I were too tired to even eat much. It did look great, though.
The restaurant was inside this building that was also a jade warehouse. They had rows upon rows of jade pieces, ornaments, and decorations for sale, as well as many other art forms. After a little shopping, it was time to head home. They drove us past the Bird's Nest, but James and I were out like lights by then and didnt get to see it. Everyone said it was at a distance anyways, and you couldn't get a good look.
By this time, we had decided we were just jet lagged and needed to get some sleep. We got back to our hotel room and hopped right into bed. Slept until 9:45, when the alarm woke us and reminded us it was time to call home.
Please pray that we'll have more energy tomorrow, and that we can enjoy our last full day of touring. I think with as much sleep as we've gotten today, we should be just fine. Tomorrow we'll be visiting the Forbidden City, Tianamen Square, and getting a Hutong Tour. Some of the families leave tomorrow night to fly to their children's province, but we don't leave until Monday.