IPS in China — V

June 18th, 2013 at 3:37 pm by under Eric Halvorson's Blog

The IPS delegation in China enjoyed a little tourist time.  Teacher Amy Wackerly prepared the following post to describe the experience she shared at the Great Wall with teacher Ann Mennonno and Chris Collier, head of the Center for Inquiry Schools.  (And, we’re getting more pictures!)

Monday, June 17, 2013 Blog

Great Wall Day!!

The Juyong Pass at the Great Wall of China

The Juyong Pass at the Great Wall of China

Today was a very exciting day for the three of us.  We were able to walk the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China.  The section of wall we walked was called the Juyong Pass.  It is northwest of Beijing.  It was a beautiful day and the first day we’ve seen blue skies since we’ve been here.  I think we were all amazed at the beauty and steepness of the climb.  As we were climbing the goal was to not let the people with canes or high heels pass us.  Trust me, that was a real challenge at times.  

The Great Wall spans 5,600 kilometers.  We found it very interesting that there were many gold locks (love locks) along the Great Wall path on these chains. We learned that when people get married they lock the lock on the wall and then throw the key over the wall to symbolize their everlasting love.  We felt very accomplished after we climbed down.

After we left the Great Wall and visited a jade factory.  We watched a craftsman work on a piece of jade.  He was working on a piece that is called “happiness ball”.  It will take him 25 days working 4 or 5 hours a day to carve this piece out of a solid piece of jade.  When he is done it will have 4 moveable balls, one inside another, representing 4 generations. 

Jade Craftsman

Jade Craftsman

Following lunch we headed out to see on of the tombs of the Ming Dynasty.  This ruler, Emperor Zhu Di,was the third emperor in the dynasty and was responsible for moving the capital to it’s current location in Beijing.  We saw a massive copper statue of Emperor Zhu Di; people throw money at the foot of the statue for good luck.  The building that housed the statue contained many artifacts like jade belts, crowns, and gold pieces.  The next building housed the marker for the tomb, and then Emperor Zhu Di was buried in the hill behind the tomb marker.  I think we were all impressed with the details within the building and the rich history of this area. 

The next stop was a silk factory.  We learned about the process of making silk.  She showed us how the silkworm cocoons will have one or two silkworms inside.  The one with two worms inside is used more for bedding because the silk crisscrosses.  The one used for clothing only has one worm inside of it.  The part that I really did not need to know was that the silkworm poop is used as the stuffing inside some pillows…like at our hotel! 

In addition to climbing the Great Wall our next great accomplishment was crossing the street by ourselves without getting hit by a car, bus, bike, or moped.  Pedestrians do not have the right of way! 

We are looking forward to another day of sightseeing tomorrow.  We are seeing the Forbidden City (or sin city as Chris keeps calling it) and Tiananmen Square.

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