Today we started the day by going to the Philip Hayden Foster Home, otherwise known as Shepherd's Field Children's Village, in the Tianjin province. It was around an hour drive through lush farmland. It was another example of the wonderful care that some places are able to provide for the children in China. It was very encouraging to see this type of facility. Again, we got to spend time just loving on the kids, plus got a tour of the growing facility. We also got to do a little shopping there, to support their mission work:) Since this facility was actually in a different province, we had to go through a checkpoint before we could re-enter Beijing. Security in Beijing has really tightened with the upcoming Olympics. That's part of the reason that our cribs did not make it to Chaoyang in time. Trucks cannot drive through Beijing and the surrounding area until after the Olympics, so the driver had to take a ferry across the bay (I'm too tired to remember the name of it right now). As you can see in the picture, our bus was asked to pull over and they checked all our passports. I snuck this picture from inside the bus.
In the afternoon, five of us, three which had never been to the wall, got a private van to drive us to a section of the wall that I had never been to before. It was an awesome experience! As we got closer to the wall, the drive was lined with beautiful trees with views of mountains and a reservoir. This area of the wall is much less populous than my three previous trips, and an easier climb. Most of the climb was also in the shade, which was a blessing since it was extremely warm and humid. The view from the top was breathtaking, but even better yet was the fact that we got to tobaggan down! Each person rode their own tobaggan, and you could control your speed. Well, at least you were suppose to be able to. Mine was the slowest in the group, and the guy behind me caught up with me a couple times. He even got out and pushed me once, which I appreciated. If you ever find yourself in China, I highly recommend this area of the wall.
We joined back up with the rest of the group at a dumpling restaurant. It was good, but I don't think we made a dent in the 120 dumplings our guide ordered for us! We drove by the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square to see it lit up at night. Actually, you can see it from our hotel room too, but not everyone has as good as a view as us. The square was actually closed off tonight. They are starting to set up for the Olympics, so some things are unaccessible.