China 2009 - The Great Wall, Shopping & Hot Pot

Beijing, China
Friday, October 9th, 2009

With Robert and I needing to continue our shopping for Silk Road Collection, the rest of the group headed out on a private tour to see and walk on the 2,000+ year-old Great Wall of China, located outside of Beijing.Great Wall The Great Wall is over 5,000 miles long, nearly spanning China from east to west and took hundreds of years to complete. Each in the group shared that seeing and walking on a potion of the Great Wall was an unforgettable experience. Their adventure was documented not only with their memories and photos but also with t-shirts hand-painted with the date of their adventure.

Unbeknownst to them at the time, their adventure would also be remembered by their leg and foot aches and pains for a few days to come. It can be tough being a tourist.

Their Great Wall tour was followed by a visit to the nearby underground Ming Tombs and then a visit to a porcelain-making factory; a little history mixed with a little shopping.

Buddha StatuesRobert and I continued our furniture shopping for Silk Road Collection by visiting one of Lily’s other showrooms. Here we selected many smaller accessory items and other pieces of furniture.

Group & Friends at Hot Pot RestaurantThis evening for dinner, the group met and visited with some of our Beijing friends-Eric and his young cousin and Professor Wong and his wife—their English names. Eric was one of Silk Road Collection’s first furniture vendors, and even though he is no longer in the antique Chinese furniture business, we have remained friends. Professor Wong was hired by Robert as an interpreter during one of Robert’s visits to Beijing.

Also joining our group was an American, named Eric, living and working in the nearby city of Tinjing with his family. His wife and daughters were unable to join us. American Eric is a friend of Trish and Joe and they were all delighted to be able to reconnect in Beijing.

Along with our favorite Beijing friends, we wanted to dine on our favorite Beijing food—hot pot. Therefore, Chinese Eric selected a hot pot restaurant for all of us to gather.

Hot Pot FoodAt a hot pot restaurant, each person is provided a kind of metal fond du pot filled with broth and heated from a burner below. Brought to the table are numerous dishes of thinly sliced meats, vegetables, and seasonings. The objective is to place the food items into your hot pot and cook it for only a minute or two, eat, and then repeat the process. The resulting flavors get better and better throughout the evening.

Our group thoroughly enjoyed meeting American Eric, Chinese Eric, his cousin, Professor Wong and his wife and the hot pot experience. Eric introduced us to a Chinese clear alcohol, similar to gin but with a slightly licorous taste.

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