Today one of CCOM tuba students’ took Marty Erickson and me to the Great Wall.  It was a wonderful experience even though the sky was very foggy.  There are many points that tourists can enter the Wall and the one we took was supposedly the most difficult.  I would have to say that it wasn’t so much a great wall as a great staircase!  I don’t know what the ascent was in feet but it was practically straight up for over an hour of hard climbing.  It was very cool, all the steps are completely uneven and different heights; some literally two feet high.  This was not for the faint of heart.  I can only imagine the view on a clear day must be breathtaking.  My phone pics below simply do not do justice.

After a very nice lunch in a country inn we went shopping for silk and tea.  The silk place was very near the Olympic Village and was very interesting in that they showed how the process is done and different grades of silk.  However, this was not the place to buy it.  Luckily our student let me know this was priced for tourists and let me know where the deals are.  I’ll hit those places tomorrow.  He did take us to a place to buy tea that is somehow connected to his family.  This was a small store down an alley in a part of town I would have never found, nor thought to go shopping.  We sat at a long table and sampled half a dozen teas all of the same variety, just different grades of quality.  After a while Marty and I became overwhelmed by the day and frankly I was thinking more about at beer at this point, rather than tea, so I told my host to take 200RPG (about $25) and give me a sampling of whatever he thinks best.  So I’ll find out when I get home what I got from my tea tasting.  Unfortunately, my phone ran out of juice at the Wall so I couldn’t get any shots of this very “real” part of town.  Marty did and perhaps I’ll get them from him and upload them at some point.