Tuesday, February 17, 2015


China has a part of my heart. Each time I step on a plane to leave with one of her daughters, a piece of my heart stays behind. Although there are many things that my Western brain cannot fathom, and my western eyes don't want to see there is much much more that I drink up with a thirst hard to quench. China is an ancient land of many peculiar rituals and traits. When so many parts of the world are all starting to blend together and many big cities are so very much alike, China remains distinct in it's differences. The shape of the buildings, the millions of dark haired people, the colour red, everywhere, the language, the hustle and bustle in the cities. the lay of the land. China is awesome and filled with greatness and the greatest part of all, is the Wall.

We were all pretty excited knowing that we were going to walk the Wall and it was hard to be patient as it didn't happen first thing when we arrived. The day finally arrived and we boarded the bus for Ju Yong Pass. I remember feeling a little frustrated when I found out we were going to a jade factory and to the Olympic village before finally getting to the wall. As it turned out we drove passed the Olympic Village as it was nowhere close to completion. We were told how people were told to, "leave now" their apartments so that they could be bulldozed and a brand new interstates built in their place. Some building looked new and clean but it turns out it was a facade and if you looked back in to the complex you could see the other run down buildings that had  not been touched but you really had to look for them. Mind boggling.

The Jade factory was, meh but we bought a couple of things for the girls. I found a sign that made me giggle.

The literal translations make me giggle

And it wasn't just the jade factory the Great Wall offered some pretty funny signage too.
Clear as mud, these signs.

We first started to spot parts of the wall from the bus and it was truly amazing. One thing I didn't expect was the tourist crap that was everywhere. Sadly most of the stuff for sale at these places was all for the Olympics and not the stuff you would hope to find.
It looks so western.
part of the wall
Clearly this photo is out of order as this was our first glimpse from the bus.
Cousin Andie and some fabulously fit old chap'
One of my favourite photos of all time.
I'm ready, lets go
Lily holding our family lock. Once you lock the padlock on to the wall your family will remain intact for ever. sadly even back then I knew my marriage was pants so it's no surprise it didn't work. Add to that the fact that you are meant to toss you key over the wall and we forgot, we were doomed!

Lily was hellbent on getting to the top. Due to all the other gallivanting we had done we didn't have much time there so we had to hurry. The ex wimped out first, sighting a bad everything, next was Andie with her bum knee so that left me to keep up with the oh so agile Lilipop. We made it to the ninth level and were joined again by Andie who refused to be beaten by a 5 yr old. If nothing else, we Minneys are stubborn. It was a day like no other that I have ever had. I have promised the girls we will go back and do it again but this time we will make it to the top. As the day day drew to a close I was one day closer to the Pickle.


  1. Awesome......that was one of the "disappointing" parts of our trip that because LiLi was from southern China we flew into Hong Kong so didn't do the Beijing tour. Wait, I forgot our scary bus ride through Beijing to get to a different terminal on the way home.

  2. It looks so fabulous. Now I have to add China to the bucket list.